North York General Hospital - MaRS Innovation Partnership

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North York General Hospital - MaRS Innovation Partnership

Improving patient safety by preventing patient falls

A comprehensive, evidence-based falls prevention program has been in place at NYGH for more than five years. Many strategies have been implemented to enhance the falls prevention program, however, the number of falls and associated costs continue to rise. Technological advances, such as bed alarms, have been used as prevention strategies but can lead to alarm fatigue and delayed response times.

The challenge of predicting or preventing patient falls is complex and multi-faceted, due to many different factors that can cause falls to occur. Furthermore, the majority of falls on inpatient units are unwitnessed. As such, many different strategies must be pursued to improve the assessment of falls risk, prevent or predict falls from occurring, mitigate their potential impact and consequences, and enable effective analysis and continuous improvement in the event that they do occur.

It has been identified that sources of clinical information and falls prevention assessments are dispersed throughout the patient chart, but are not easily synthesized for clinical action. Nursing, allied health, pharmacy and physician assessment of falls risks are included in the chart but are left for the clinician to analyze. In addition, data from call bells and alarms are not synced with the electronic medical record. NYGH would like to use predictive analytics to improve the integration of data to support current clinical practice. A solution is needed to connect clinical workflow processes and the data generated from them into meaningful, actionable triggers for the clinical team.

Outcomes Based Specifications

North York General Hospital is interested in reducing the number of falls on their units on average by 5% within 6 months of implementing the solution and would like to improve employee engagement and patient satisfaction levels on a unit with high risk of fall patients by minimum 1% within 3 months of post implementation.

Connexall’s Patient Fall Protection Patented Technology

Connexall’s Patient Fall Protection patented technology analyzes both the patient’s fall risk level from the hospital’s electronic medical record system (EMR), and the ongoing real-time state of the patient’s bed configuration. Connexall then actively evaluates both data streams to determine if the current bed configuration falls outside of the set protocol, and presents a heightened fall risk condition that needs immediate attention by the caregiver. The resulting notification to the caregiver ensures they can return to the room and proactively restore the bed to the proper configuration to avert the potential of a patient fall. 

Preventing falls in acute care settings

North York General Hospital (NYGH) and Globestar Systems’ Connexall are working together to create a solution that will predict and prevent falls in a hospital setting. In Canada, 1 in 3 seniors experience falls which can lead to a loss of independence, reduced quality of life, and even death. In a hospital setting, falls often occur unwitnessed, and are mainly experienced by patients who are unaware of their own cognitive or physical limitations. With 60% of the patients admitted to NYGH being 65+, there is a significant need for an innovative tool to prevent falls in this vulnerable patient population.

This team will co-design a patient fall prevention and detection solution by leveraging Connexall’s Patient Fall Protection patented technology which analyzes both the patient’s fall risk level from the hospital’s electronic medical record system (EMR) and the ongoing real-time state of the patient’s bed configuration, without having to replace the beds. Effective fall preventions will improve patient safety by decreasing the number of incidents, resulting in increased patient, family, and caregiver satisfaction while at the same time reducing healthcare costs.

See the blog here

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