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Patient Safety #1 at Hotel Dieu Shaver

Posted Nov 6th, 2014 in News

At Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre, the goal with their Restorative patients is to return them to the community.

Patients are encouraged to practice all independent skills; including walking on the unit as directed by their Physiotherapist. Challenges can be faced with communicating each patient's changing walking status to staff especially when the patients are involved in activities across the Rehabilitation Centre.

To alleviate the confusion, Hotel Dieu Shaver is now attaching laminated coloured tags to patient's walkers to indicate their level of independence while ambulating. The hospital calls this the “Walker independence Indicator".

The purpose of the Walker Independence Indicator is to provide a visual cue to staff, patients and family members regarding a patient's recommended level of independence to use their walker safely. It also clearly identifies which walker each patients should utilize, as assigned by their team.

Laminated colour cards are now attached to each patient's walking aid by the Physiotherapist. The colour of the card indicates basic walking supervision needs of the patient. In addition, the therapist adds the patient's name and additional instructions/cues to facilitate safe walking on the card.

The 3 coloured indicators are described below:

RED | Patient requires “hands on" assistance while walking. Therapist specifies on tag whether assistance of 1 or 2 people is needed (STOP)

YELLOW | Patient requires supervision only when walking with walker(CAUTION)

GREEN | Patient is safe to walk independently with walker(GO)

As a patient's mobility status progresses, therapy staff changes the colour of the walker independence indicator when ready to perform safely on the unit.