Patients falling in hospitals are a major problem in healthcare that usually goes unseen. Statistics show there are about 70,000 – 100,000 cases yearly in the U.S. Falling in hospitals results often in medical consequences that include fractures and bleedings, including internal bleedings. This makes preventing falls a priority when designing hospital physical environments. Technology today brings new possibilities for stakeholders involved in the design of hospitals and understanding different requirements for different user groups.
During our clinical immersion in Tio100 hospital, we identified “Falling” as a persistent risk for patients. In fact, the internal medicine clinic frequently treated people suffering from conditions that hinder their mobility or limit their visual abilities (Diabetes, Glaucoma, Visual problems). The team decided to investigate falling risks at the hospital and Semra proposed a method that consisted of two main parts. On one hand, understanding the existing risks at the clinic, and secondly show how different patient profiles have different risks at the hospital.
First, Semra used role playing, a method used in design, where she played the role of an elderly patient walking in the hospital. This allowed her to understand the different challenges patients have when walking around the hospital. Second, with the help of an eye-sight simulation app (Synssimulator), Semra showed to a working group in the hospital how different parts of the hospital appeared given the visual condition of the patients.
Last week, we conducted a workshop at Tio100 with the hospital’s falls working group and shared our results. The group had already put forward some ideas on improvements to implement, and wanted to keep on working in innovative ways. This welcoming attitude to innovation and new ways of working are characteristics we really appreciate as we cooperate with the clinic. We were therefore not surprised when we saw that hospital came second in the list of the best small hospitals in Sweden this year (Moved up from 6th position). We take this chance then to congratulate the hospital for such a achievement.
We will introduce more people to the hospital next week, as six students start working on 3 clinical improvement projects. We are also working hard on research for the commercial needs. For more updates please reading our blog.
Elhabib Moustaid and Semra Sahin