Connect the dots

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I left a job at a small rural hospital to join the nursing staff of a large urban medical center. My new facility has a long-standing program to prevent patient falls. As part of the program, the patient assessment sheet includes a box to be checked for patients who are at high risk for falls. The nurse must also sign next to a statement saying, “This patient is at high risk for falls.” Then a colored dot is placed in the chart, on the Kardex, and on the call bell system.I understand the nurse's responsibility for preventing patient falls, but is it really necessary to spotlight one potential problem on hospital records? Doesn't this make it easier for a lawyer to hold the nurse responsible in case of a patient fall?—R.J., FLA.

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