Low hospital beds with smart bed exit technology help reduce the risk of patient falls

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Nurses and healthcare assistants can spend their entire shift sitting beside a patient to ensure they don’t fall out of bed and injure themselves.

That valuable time could be spent on countless other tasks – which is why Timaru Hospital has now invested in ook snow hospital beds that have an exceptionally low height (254mm), bed exit alarms and floor lights to help reduce the risk of falls.

“When we put at risk patients in these beds and drop them to the lowest position, we can reduce the amount of time those patients need to have a safety watch beside them,” explains the hospital’s Medical Ward Charge Nurse Manager Terry Armer. “We’re saving a significant amount of safety watch hours, so it’s cost effective and makes everyone’s life easier".

“If a patient needs a safety watch, they’ll still get one. But these beds are an important tool in our toolkit and allow us to make effective clinical decisions and best use of our resources.”

Nurses used to place mattresses beside the beds of fall risk patients. But that in turn created a health and safety hazard for staff who then had to work on an unstable surface.

In the six months or so that Timaru has used ook snow hospital beds, Terry says severity assessment code (SAC) incidents have dramatically improved.

“We’re not going to stop falls completely, but we’ve halved the number of significant falls from beds [SAC 1 and 2 events]. And despite the decrease in safety watches, our general fall rates have reduced by 25 per cent too.”

The bed’s built-in sensors alert staff to any significant movement so staff can prioritise their workload and respond to patient needs as early as possible.

Simplicity is a key ethos behind the ook snow beds.

A single electrical cable minimises clutter and powers all bed functions (including USB ports for patient use). Patients can easily access the control panel to reposition themselves, reducing the need to call staff for help, and allowing them to feel in control. In-built smart scales accurately measure a patient’s weight. Ergonomic side rails can be released with one hand, and a footboard control panel displays a log of bed exit events and other key health data for clinical staff.

“They’re great for pressure care, and they’re very easy to clean,” Terry says. “There’s also enough clearance underneath to fit other equipment like hoists or tables. They’re very robust while being quite light and easy to move.”

Timaru Hospital currently has multiple ook snow beds, with more on order. “We’ve now got a good complement of different styles of beds in our medical ward – bariatric beds, normal beds and these lower ones [ook snow hospital bed with falls alarm and scales]. But they look exactly the same so patients feel they’re being treated the same as others. It’s all about patient-centered wellbeing and care.”

To find out more about ook snow beds, get in touch today on 0800 101 255 or send us a message.