Introduction: Call-bells are often unreachable. The geriatric patient has complex functional needs and is dependent on their call-bell for assistance with toileting, analgesia and repositioning. Prompt help leads to falls reduction.
Innovations: Cartesian plots were used to represent call-bell placement distribution for geratology staff education. Computer modelling demonstrated a clip at 25 cm from the handset mapped onto patients' preferred call-bell positions. A clip was developed to tether the bell within reach of the patient.
Evaluation: Call-bell positions were recorded in 38 side rooms in Wards A and B over 1 month. Education did not significantly improve the number of accessible handsets (P = 0.135), while clustering of call-bells was demonstrated. Use of the prototype clip on Ward B improved call-bell positioning: Ward B data matched patient preferences (P < 0.05) with significant improvement in number of accessible call-bells (86%; P < 0.001), compared with Ward A (46%).
Conclusions: Cartesian plots are a novel method for displaying data. Increasing mindfulness may improve call-bell handset positioning. A simple addition can significantly increase the proportion of accessible call-bells.