Heights of occupied patient beds: A possible risk factor for inpatient falls

Huey-Ming Tzeng, Chang Yi Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims. The aim of this study was to ascertain the average height of occupied patient beds in a general medical ward and to investigate the relationship between staff working-height for patient beds, time and whether the patient was on fall precaution. Background. The height of occupied patient beds can be an overlooked contributor to inpatient falls. Better physical design of hospital equipment such as patient beds may reduce patient falls and injuries. Methods. This study took place in an acute medical ward of a Michigan medical center. One researcher collected all the data and used the same metric for all the measurements. Univariate analyses were performed. Results. The average staff working-height measurement taken at the weekend was significantly higher than that taken on weekdays. The average height of patient beds on fall precaution was significantly higher than of those not on fall precaution. Conclusions. A higher patient/nurse ratio at weekends than on weekdays may result in fewer bedside nursing hours and nurses being less conscientious about keeping beds in the low position after treatments. In an effort to prevent high-fall-risk patients from falling, nurses may have consciously or unconsciously kept their beds in higher positions. Relevance to clinical practice. If the patient bed can be manually or automatically adjusted, nurses must lower the height of the bed to the lowest position after completing treatments or tasks. This after-procedure activity should be enforced and monitored regularly as part of a hospital's patient fall prevention programme. Low beds should be used for patients at high risk of falling. Future research should investigate patients' and staff's views on hospital equipment to provide evidence-based information for policy-makers determining the design-regulation standard for hospital bedframes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1509
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Inpatients
Accidental Falls
Nurses
Hospital Equipment and Supplies
Patients' Rooms
Administrative Personnel
Nursing
Research Personnel

Keywords

  • Beds
  • Falls
  • Nurses
  • Nursing
  • Patient
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Heights of occupied patient beds : A possible risk factor for inpatient falls. / Tzeng, Huey-Ming; Yin, Chang Yi.

In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, Vol. 17, No. 11, 01.06.2008, p. 1503-1509.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{45ceca1e20584b3cbf57c8499161187c,
title = "Heights of occupied patient beds: A possible risk factor for inpatient falls",
abstract = "Aims. The aim of this study was to ascertain the average height of occupied patient beds in a general medical ward and to investigate the relationship between staff working-height for patient beds, time and whether the patient was on fall precaution. Background. The height of occupied patient beds can be an overlooked contributor to inpatient falls. Better physical design of hospital equipment such as patient beds may reduce patient falls and injuries. Methods. This study took place in an acute medical ward of a Michigan medical center. One researcher collected all the data and used the same metric for all the measurements. Univariate analyses were performed. Results. The average staff working-height measurement taken at the weekend was significantly higher than that taken on weekdays. The average height of patient beds on fall precaution was significantly higher than of those not on fall precaution. Conclusions. A higher patient/nurse ratio at weekends than on weekdays may result in fewer bedside nursing hours and nurses being less conscientious about keeping beds in the low position after treatments. In an effort to prevent high-fall-risk patients from falling, nurses may have consciously or unconsciously kept their beds in higher positions. Relevance to clinical practice. If the patient bed can be manually or automatically adjusted, nurses must lower the height of the bed to the lowest position after completing treatments or tasks. This after-procedure activity should be enforced and monitored regularly as part of a hospital's patient fall prevention programme. Low beds should be used for patients at high risk of falling. Future research should investigate patients' and staff's views on hospital equipment to provide evidence-based information for policy-makers determining the design-regulation standard for hospital bedframes.",
keywords = "Beds, Falls, Nurses, Nursing, Patient, Safety",
author = "Huey-Ming Tzeng and Yin, {Chang Yi}",
year = "2008",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02086.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "17",
pages = "1503--1509",
journal = "Journal of Clinical Nursing",
issn = "0962-1067",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Heights of occupied patient beds

T2 - A possible risk factor for inpatient falls

AU - Tzeng, Huey-Ming

AU - Yin, Chang Yi

PY - 2008/6/1

Y1 - 2008/6/1

N2 - Aims. The aim of this study was to ascertain the average height of occupied patient beds in a general medical ward and to investigate the relationship between staff working-height for patient beds, time and whether the patient was on fall precaution. Background. The height of occupied patient beds can be an overlooked contributor to inpatient falls. Better physical design of hospital equipment such as patient beds may reduce patient falls and injuries. Methods. This study took place in an acute medical ward of a Michigan medical center. One researcher collected all the data and used the same metric for all the measurements. Univariate analyses were performed. Results. The average staff working-height measurement taken at the weekend was significantly higher than that taken on weekdays. The average height of patient beds on fall precaution was significantly higher than of those not on fall precaution. Conclusions. A higher patient/nurse ratio at weekends than on weekdays may result in fewer bedside nursing hours and nurses being less conscientious about keeping beds in the low position after treatments. In an effort to prevent high-fall-risk patients from falling, nurses may have consciously or unconsciously kept their beds in higher positions. Relevance to clinical practice. If the patient bed can be manually or automatically adjusted, nurses must lower the height of the bed to the lowest position after completing treatments or tasks. This after-procedure activity should be enforced and monitored regularly as part of a hospital's patient fall prevention programme. Low beds should be used for patients at high risk of falling. Future research should investigate patients' and staff's views on hospital equipment to provide evidence-based information for policy-makers determining the design-regulation standard for hospital bedframes.

AB - Aims. The aim of this study was to ascertain the average height of occupied patient beds in a general medical ward and to investigate the relationship between staff working-height for patient beds, time and whether the patient was on fall precaution. Background. The height of occupied patient beds can be an overlooked contributor to inpatient falls. Better physical design of hospital equipment such as patient beds may reduce patient falls and injuries. Methods. This study took place in an acute medical ward of a Michigan medical center. One researcher collected all the data and used the same metric for all the measurements. Univariate analyses were performed. Results. The average staff working-height measurement taken at the weekend was significantly higher than that taken on weekdays. The average height of patient beds on fall precaution was significantly higher than of those not on fall precaution. Conclusions. A higher patient/nurse ratio at weekends than on weekdays may result in fewer bedside nursing hours and nurses being less conscientious about keeping beds in the low position after treatments. In an effort to prevent high-fall-risk patients from falling, nurses may have consciously or unconsciously kept their beds in higher positions. Relevance to clinical practice. If the patient bed can be manually or automatically adjusted, nurses must lower the height of the bed to the lowest position after completing treatments or tasks. This after-procedure activity should be enforced and monitored regularly as part of a hospital's patient fall prevention programme. Low beds should be used for patients at high risk of falling. Future research should investigate patients' and staff's views on hospital equipment to provide evidence-based information for policy-makers determining the design-regulation standard for hospital bedframes.

KW - Beds

KW - Falls

KW - Nurses

KW - Nursing

KW - Patient

KW - Safety

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=43749101534&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=43749101534&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02086.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02086.x

M3 - Article

C2 - 18482143

AN - SCOPUS:43749101534

VL - 17

SP - 1503

EP - 1509

JO - Journal of Clinical Nursing

JF - Journal of Clinical Nursing

SN - 0962-1067

IS - 11

ER -