August 8, 2018

Let the light in

Did you know that delirium and falls are a major cause of harm to our patients?

Falls and delirium lead to injuries, longer hospital stays and increased need for support after discharge. While we are already working to prevent falls, fall-related injuries and delirium, there is more to be done.

Luckily, there is one simple thing everyone can do to help.

Let the light in.

“Inadequate lighting leads to falls, because people can’t see their way around and are more likely to slip or trip,” said Dr Kim Jeffs, Northern Health Geriatrician.

“Low levels of light during the day can also contribute to delirium, by disrupting the sleep-wake cycle. If there isn’t sufficient light during the day – especially natural light – the brain doesn’t get into a proper night sleep rhythm. Subsequently, the lack of sleep leads to the brain not functioning properly,” she said.

“When you are on the wards, open the blinds, turn on the lights and let the light in.”

The idea of highlighting “Let the light In” came from last week’s Chief Executive’s Ideas Forum – where a number of ideas around eliminating patient harm during a hospital stay were  developed.