Procedures to follow when your staff witness a fall

Any hospital employee witnessing a fall should know how to document the incident clearly, says Ruth M. Maher, PT, DPT, MPT, BS, director of physical therapy at HyOx Medical Treatment Center in Marietta, GA. She suggests training employees to immediately note this information after a fall:

1. Date, time, and location of the incident
2. Person involved
3. Did the person suffer an injury? If so, what type?
4. Description of the incident and the mechanism of the incident (what the person was doing at the time)
5. On what type of surface did the incident occur?
6. Was the surface wet, dry, cluttered, etc.?
7. Contact information for the party involved and witnesses
8. Action taken to prevent reoccurrence
9. What type of safety or fall prevention training did the individual receive before the fall?
10. Could anything have been done to prevent the incident?