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Keywords

Accidental falls, Call light, Hospitals, Inpatients, Nurses, Safety

 

Authors

  1. TZENG, HUEY-MING PhD, RN
  2. LARSON, JANET L. PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

Patient call-light usage and nurse responsiveness to call lights are two intertwined concepts that could affect patients' safety during hospital stays. Little is known about the relationship between call-light usage and call-light response time. Consequently, this exploratory study examined the relationship between the patient-initiated call-light use rate and the nursing staff's average call-light response time in a Michigan community hospital. It used hospital archived data retrieved from the call-light tracking system for the period from February 2007 through June 2008. Curve estimation regression and multiple regression analyses were conducted. The results showed that the call-light response time was not affected by the total nursing hours or RN hours. The nurse call-light response time was longer when the patient call-light use rate was higher and the average length of stay was shorter. It is likely that a shorter length of stay contributes to the nursing care activity level on the unit because it is associated with a higher frequency of patient admissions/discharges and treatment per patient-day. This suggests that the nursing care activity level on the unit and number ofcall-light alarms could affect nurse call-light response time, independently of the number of nurses available to respond.