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Restraint Challenge

ED Staff Collaborate to Improve Patient Restraint Documentation

The appropriate use of patient restraints is an important safety issue, and complying with regulatory standards for documentation is crucial.

This month, the Emergency Department kicked off a "2007 Restraint Challenge" for its physicians and nurses to help raise awareness of the proper care and use of patient restraints. As part of the challenge, medical and nursing staff members are quizzed by the CNIVs on restraints and those who receive a score of 100 percent are awarded a prize, which includes gift cards.

The challenge is being led by Sam Torbati, M.D., the ED physician champion for the MD-RN Collaborative, and Senior Night ED Charge Nurse Sue Mooney, R.N.

In late 2006, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Patient Rights Condition of Participation with new requirements for patient restraint and seclusion. The new rule went into effect on February 6, 2007, and focuses on the rights of patients to be free from inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion.

Healthcare workers who employ physical restraints and seclusion when treating patients must undergo new, more rigorous training to assure the appropriateness of the treatment and to protect patient rights, according to the new CMS rules.
Methods of patient restraint include physical restraints, chemical restraints, and seclusion. Patient restraint should be considered when a careful assessment establishes that the patient is a danger to self or others by virtue of a medical or psychiatric condition.

For more information about the ED's 2007 Restraint Challenge, please contact Sue Mooney at susan.mooney@cshs.org.