Keeping Patients Safe One Gift at a Time

This scenario plays out in hospitals all over the country: A frail or perhaps medicated patient awakens, climbs out of bed, and falls to the floor with a frightening thud. Preventing such falls is a high priority for all hospitals and, thanks to a gift from Asante Ashland Community Hospital employees, high-risk patients here will soon have an extra measure of safety.

The Caregiver Fund, created by Ashland Community Hospital Foundation and fueled by employee contributions, awarded $7,100 to install monitoring cameras in two rooms occupied by patients at the greatest risk for falling.

“Monitoring will allow us to respond more quickly if needed rather than after the bed alarm sounds,” said Lissa Bekefi, RN, a nurse in the hospital’s medical/surgical unit.

With the patient’s consent, room cameras will allow staff to monitor the patient’s activity from a video screen at the nurses’ station. If the patient appears wobbly, agitated or confused, a nurse can step in to help before a possible fall.

The Caregiver Fund, which includes matching dollars from a hospital charitable fund, also awarded $9,085 for a second portable bladder scanner to be used by the Emergency Department, Family Birth Center, and Same-Day Surgery unit.

Ultrasound bladder scanners can detect how much urine a patient is retaining without the patient having to undergo catheterization, an approach that carries a risk of infection.

The gifts were announced at a celebration in the hospital’s cafeteria on Wednesday. To qualify for Caregiver funding, employees are asked to submit an application stating how their project will improve quality and safety, reduce waste, enhance patient experience, increase their ability to do their job, or broaden their skills to better serve patients and their families.

The hospital’s patient experience team reviews each application and determines which projects to fund in each round. Applications not chosen may be resubmitted for the next round of funding. Asante Ashland employees interested in seeking funding for a hospital project are asked to submit an application. All employees are encouraged to donate to the fund online.