Hospital Hires More Nurses; Reduces Patient Falls

imageHospitals in Washington state are required by law to report to the state department of health all incidences of patient falls.

Nurses in Minnesota applaud this much – needed move toward transparency, and look forward to January 1, 2014 when our state’s hospitals will enter a new phase of public disclosure with quarterly reports on staffing levels. We think it will have the same impact as what was seen in Washington with the falls report, as indicated by this NPR story.

“The Washington hospital with the most falls in recent years is Auburn Medical Center. Last year, after new owners bought the small hospital, they overhauled its safety procedures and increased staff by more than 100. Hospital management says Auburn’s rate of falls fell by two-thirds in less than a year.”

Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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