Preventing hospital patient falls is reason behind a study that will start next month at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Katherine Jones is an associate professor in the Division of Physical Therapy Education and a project researcher. She says many hospitals monitor patients that are at a high risk of falling by video. The problem is that many times a nurse can’t get to their bed or chair in time. A new system that will be tested captures the patient’s shape and patterns of movement to help predict if they are getting ready to exit a bed or chair without assistance. The information is sent to nurses on their cell phone.
Dr. Jones says, “This system can predict the likelihood of exiting the bed with about 90 seconds lead-time which gives you enough time to look at your devise where that movement is shown and decide whether or not to go into that room to check on the patient.”
It is estimated that three out of every 100 patients fall in U.S. hospitals each year and about one-third result in injury with a price tag of $14,000.
The study on the new system will start next month and continue for more than a year. Four hospitals in Nebraska are taking part in this grant funded study.