Dozens of senior volunteers at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center help paint 178 ceiling tiles to keep patients from falling. Between 700,000 and one million patients suffer a fall in U.S. hospital each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Between 30 and 51 percent of falls result in an injury. Bad falls can fracture hips that can leave patients depressed and increasingly frail, even after extensive physical therapy. The odds of a bone-shattering fall increase with age, as muscles grow weak and vision fades. Yet patients in the hospital are determined to get out of bed without asking for assistance and are at a higher risk of falling, research shows.
The titles remind patients to ask for assistance rather than risk getting out of bed on their own. The ceiling tiles are helping and the hospital is seeing the benefits of reduced patient falls.