Limiting Physical Restraint Use
Primaris continues to work with Missouri nursing homes to reduce the use of physical restraints.
Physical restraints are defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as “any manual method or physical or mechanical device, material, or equipment attached or adjacent to the resident’s body that the individual cannot remove easily which restricts freedom of movement or normal access to one’s body” (42 CFR 483.13(a)).
Although the use of physical restraints is not prohibited, CMS continues to encourage nursing home providers to reduce their use.
There is a common perception that restraints are often necessary to ensure safety; however, research shows that this belief is generally unfounded. Far outweighed by the possible benefits is a long list of risks including:
Benefits of refraining from restraint use have been well documented and include improvement in quality of life, greater autonomy, reduction in use of anti-psychotic medications, less skin breakdown and a reduction in seriousness of injuries due to falls.
View the 2007 letter from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about restraint policy.
Primaris has free quality improvement resources for this topic.
Prevent falls - without restraints or personal alarms
In April 2012, Stratis Health -- our sister QIO in Minnesota -- hosted a webinar on better-quality fall prevention strategies in nursing homes. The presenter was Sue Ann Guildermann of Empira, a consortium of 27 skilled nursing facilities in that state.
Ms. Guilderman has more than 35 years of experience in long-term care organizations. Her presentation details alternate interventions for keeping residents safe from falls without using restraints or personal alarms.
Tips to keep your home restraint-free
Preventing falls: a success story
Primaris' experts recently helped Missouri nursing home prevent falls.