Often patients enter hospitals with
inadequate or unsafe footwear. Although falls in the hospital
will never be totally eliminated, continual initiatives by
nursing and other hospital staff can reduce fall incedents.
The "dots" program is under way in many hospitals to signal
patients on fall prevention. Walk Alerts may extend this identification
program when the patient is out of their room.
Walk Alerts are specially colored slippers
that can be used to increase patient involvement in their
own saftey. They serve a dual purpose:
- The slipper acts as a coding system
to alert hospital staff to those patients in a "high risk"
screen for falls.
- The special color increases patient
involvement in their own saftey. Wearing the Walk Alerts
can serve as a reminder for patients to "wait for assistance"
when ambulating. Also, the slipper has a raised tread to
reduce foot slippage.
Suggestions for Fall Prevention Program
- Explain the purpose of your hospital's fall prevention
program to the patient and/or family. Be sure the patient
has positive feelings about being "specially chosen" and
involved in his or her own saftey. A benefit could be no
- Explain that patients on the Walk Alert program are to
"wait for assistance when ambulating from the bed, chair,
commode or other location.
- Decide with the patient whether wearing the slipper continually
(to help keep feet warm) or part time (when ambulating with
assistance) is the best approach.
- Complete any other fall prevention steps your hospital
requires for placing patients on the "high risk" fall screen
such as dots on the chart or door, use of an Ambularm, or
restraints if indicated.