Getting to 100%: How One Facility Reduced Alarms for Fall Intervention

Success Story IconMayo Healthcare is an award-winning senior care facility located in central Vermont. They’re celebrating 80 years of service to the community and pride themselves on providing compassionate, personalized elder care. The facility offers licensed residential care, memory care services, rehabilitation, and continuing care.

The Mayo Healthcare facility recently embarked on a mission to eliminate the use of alarms for fall prevention. When the staff learned about the initiative, they resisted, worried that without the alarms falls would increase. They harbored these concerns despite the distribution of literature on the topic, and best practice recommendations.

Mayo The facility leadership team, comprised of the DNS, Administrator, and nursing staff, reached out to the New England Quality Innovation Network for assistance with their alarm reduction efforts. A more formal education plan was rolled out, which included a NE QIN-QIO alarm-reduction PowerPoint, and residents and their families were notified about the alarm program. The reduction of alarms was gradual — they were reduced one at a time, and visual supervision of high-risk residents was increased. The alarms were removed from the building to ensure the possibility of rolling back was not option.

The results of the program were extraordinary: the facility became 100% alarm free! The education program was a great success and helped encourage staff buy-in. The staff will now proactively inform new/travelling staff about being alarm-free. The leadership team was proud of the staff efforts, and learned that they needed to start new projects slowly, and to always start by securing staff buy-in.