Improving call bell response times
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Improving call bell response times

Robin Digby Principal nursing officer, The Mornington Centre, Peninsula Health, Melbourne, Australia
Melissa Bloomer Lecturer, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Teresa Howard Research fellow, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Robin Digby and colleagues studied the effects of raising awareness of call bell response on how promptly staff attend, patient falls and satisfaction

Aim To explore and compare call bell response times in two wards in a geriatric evaluation and management facility before and after the introduction of a suite of interventions aimed at decreasing patient falls.

Method Data on call bell response times were collected over two periods. The first were before implementation of falls prevention initiatives. Data were retrieved from the call bell system that detailed the time taken to respond to every call bell activation. A second period of data collection was conducted six months after implementation of the initiatives.

Results Prioritising call bell response and raising staff awareness improved response to patient calls. There was a slight decrease in falls although call bell activations did not decrease.

Conclusion Strong leadership is necessary from nurse managers to stress the importance of prompt call bell response. Visual surveillance of high-risk fallers is important as they are generally unable to ring for assistance when required.

Nursing Older People. 23, 6, 22-27. doi: 10.7748/nop2011.

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