Ask HRC: Technology and Sitter Options for Managing Falls Risks

February 2, 2010 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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An HRC member recently inquired about issues to consider when choosing among technology options and the use of “sitters” to manage falls risks. Key technology options include bed-exit alarms and integrated bed systems; sitters may be paid or volunteer individuals to stay with patients to address their needs and mitigate their need to leave the bed or alert clinical staff when additional intervention is needed.

ECRI Institute has stated that bed-exit alarms should not be used as the sole means of preventing falls. Likewise, facilities considering sitters must consider a number of questions before implementing a program. Whether used independently or in combination, bed-exit alarms and sitters must be part of a comprehensive falls management program. Each facility needs to weigh the pros and cons of the various...

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