Restraints are sometimes necessary for the protection of the patient or others. As Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states, “The use of restraint or seclusion must be selected only when less restrictive measures have been judged to be ineffective to protect the patient or others from harm.
During Sepsis Awareness Month and year-round, CHPSO joins
hospitals and organizations across the nation to share resources
and tools to drive improvement in sepsis detection. Please see
the resources below:
A 34-year-old G1P0 (gravida 1 para 0 – first pregnancy, no
prior deliveries) arrives at her local hospital at 41 weeks
gestation for routine antenatal testing. The patient is a recent
immigrant to the US from a remote African village. While she
speaks English as a second language, she does so fluently.
She comes in on the dayshift for a nonstress test (NST). She
has had an uneventful prenatal course and has no risk factors
other than being post-dates (overdue).
A patient was under frequent observation due to assessed high suicide risk. During one room check, staff saw that the patient had an improvised noose around his neck. The noose was made from window gasket pieces. Because of the frequent room checks and the difficulty in finding ligature tie-off points, this was discovered before the patient could harm himself. After review of the alternatives, benefits and hazards in their specific setting, the hospital replaced window gaskets with tamper-resistant sealants in the locked psychiatry ward’s patient rooms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2014. Between 2004 and 2014, the suicide death rate increased 21%, from 11.1 to 13.4 deaths per 100,000 resident population. Among adults aged 45–64, suicide death rates increased 27% between 2004 and 2014. Paramedics and law enforcement are typical first responders to suicide attempt or completed suicide cases, and hospital emergency departments receive patients for further care.
Stools are a common source of falls for patients,
visitors and staff. These chairs are not meant for long-term
seating and are primarily used by staff. However, when left
unattended, patients or their visitors will seek the vacant seat
to rest or relax if all others are occupied. According to the
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), between
700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the nation fall in hospitals each
year. Stool falls reported in the CHPSO database were all
unassisted and often led to visits to the ED for fractures or
Hearing aids. Dentures. Eyeglasses. Wallets. Cell Phones. These
are a few of the many items reported to the CHPSO database that
have been misplaced, thrown out, or disappeared during a
patient’s visit. Patients cannot live without these items as they
help them hear the latest news on TV, eat their meal, see the
news and their meal, and communicate with others. In one case, a
patient had to go on a liquid diet and eat soft foods because his
dentures were misplaced. Often times, these items get rolled up
into a napkin and inadvertently thrown out while on a meal tray
or at the bedside.
Case: A nursing mother fell asleep in the hospital bed and
her newborn slipped out of her arms, falling to the floor. The
mother had been on painkillers that made her drowsy. The infant
was taken for a CT that showed a skull fracture. There were no
family members in the patient’s room when the incident
In a preliminary search of CHPSO falls and perinatal events,
approximately 35 in-hospital infant falls from 2014-2015 were due
to the following:
Case:A 46-year-old substance-dependent male went to
the Emergency Department for sweating, chest pain and one week of
cough, and the emergency physician had a chest x-ray ordered for
him. The patient was diagnosed with pneumonia and was discharged
with a prescription for an antibiotic. For weeks later, the
patient returned to the ED because he was coughing up blood. The
clinical team completed both a tuberculosis skin test (TST) and
sputum for acid-fast bacilli.
Staff reported problems with patient monitors, but the
equipment worked properly when tested in the biomedical
engineering department. Problem tracking found that patient
monitors experienced intermittent malfunctions mostly on one
particular side of one particular floor, located above a loading
dock. Citizens’ band (CB) or other mobile radio transmissions
from vehicles arriving at the loading dock were strongly
suspected to have been the cause of the patient monitor
interference. Truck drivers were asked to use house phones on
arriving at the hospital, and the problems were resolved.
In the quality and patient safety world, we have a tendency to
focus on the complexity of patient care within the hospital
setting. However, a classic study by Forster, et al1, reminds us
that there are many concerns for the complexity of care
post-discharge. Nearly 20 percent of patients experience adverse
events within three weeks of discharge; about 75 percent of which
are preventable. Adverse drug events are the most common
post-discharge complication, with hospital-acquired infections
and procedural complications also causing considerable morbidity.
If you have run an Event Type summary report in our ECRI
database, you have noticed that the largest category by volume is
“Other” for the CHPSO aggregate. As we have been reviewing events
classified as “other” we have noticed some common themes:
non-team promoting behavior (physician), poor coordination of
care, and delay in care related to insufficient staffing. Over
the next few months, we will look closer at each of these issues.