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New State-of-the-Art Beds for Senior Behavioral Health!

L-R: Mckinsey McAtee RN; Sarah Hallacy RN; Beth Simpson, Director of SBH; Tammy Wellner CNA

One of the most important functions of a Senior Behavioral Health program is to provide a safe environment for the patients.  That’s exactly what Girard Medical Center’s Director of Senior Behavioral Health (SBH), Beth Simpson had in mind when she made the recommendation to replace all ten beds in the SBH unit.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, falls are a leading cause of hospital-acquired injury, and frequently prolonged or complicated hospital stays. Falls are the most common adverse event reported in hospitals.  Nationally, fall rates range from 1.3 to 8.9 falls/1,000 patient days.  That rate is often higher in units that focus on eldercare, neurology and rehabilitation.   

Typical ways that falls are reduced in geriatric settings include education of employees and patient/families, keeping patients involved in activities, having adequate levels of staff, and proper equipment. 

Proper equipment includes safe hospital beds.  “Low hospital beds are typically recommended for use in cases when a patient is at risk of falls,” explained Beth Simpson. “Having the bed in a low position can reduce patient injuries if a fall occurs.” 

The concern for patient safety led to the decision to purchase CHG/Stryker Spirit-Select beds which were customized for our mental health unit.  The beds were purchased with memory foam mattresses.  According to patients surveyed after the first night in the new beds, “these beds are a lot more comfortable.” 

The new beds are not only comfortable but come equipped with all the bells and whistles such as:

  • Built in alarms to alert nurses if the patient is exiting the bed

  • Beds can be lowered to 10” from the floor

  • Built-in weight scales

  • Underbed night lights

  • Enclosed side rails

  • Permanently mounted head and footboards

  • Tamper-proof fasteners

  • Shortened cords

  • Beds can be connected to the nurse call system

  • Customizable settings

There was a lot of excitement Monday when the beds arrived.  The delivery truck didn’t arrive until after 5 pm but employees stayed past their shift to make sure the beds were moved to Senior Behavioral Health.  “Special thanks to our Maintenance and Housekeeping staff, as well as Materials’ Management employees for staying extra to assist,” said Beth Simpson. “They stayed until the beds were unloaded, made, and moved into SBH, as well as moving the old beds out.”

Director of Environmental Services, Justin Pride, was given special recognition from the Stryker representative for the way the call bell cord was designed.  This may be the new recommendation for psych beds throughout the country. 

Girard Medical Center chose to donate the old beds to “Gifts for the Nations,” which is a Humanitarian Ministry.