The Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed has been utilized on the Geriatric Psychiatric Unit since May, 2007 with acceptance and positive responses from staff, patients and families. There have been no adverse patient outcomes. We attribute the successful integration of the Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed as a safe, less restrictive safety intervention to the development of the education program that was initially provided to staff and physicians.
This program was specifically designed to promote discussion and challenge unfounded beliefs and in turn enhance the staff’s ability to adequately address patient and family concerns regarding the use of the bed. The educational program addressed the following concerns and is additionally supported by the nursing policy identifying the criteria for appropriate use of the Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed and written patient/family education material:
- The Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed admittedly looks imposing and confining.
- The need for safe, less restrictive alternatives to the more traditional type of restraints.
- The risks versus benefits of utilizing traditional restraints rather than the Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed.
- Providing staff with a “hard wired” scripted response explaining to visitors or others
- the rationale for the use of the bed and the benefits over traditional types of restraints.
- Potential quality of life issues if a patient should sustain an injury as a result
- of a fall rather than utilize a Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed.
- The patient’s perception of being in a Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed.
- The Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed as an appropriate intervention to contain sitter costs.
It has been our experience that with proper staff, physician, patient and family education the Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed is truly a safer and more humane alternative to other types of restraints. The Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed can be easily incorporated into the patient’s safety plan of care in conjunction with other safety devices such as bed and chair alarms to encourage the use of the least restrictive devices and minimize the risk of falls throughout the patient’s hospitalization.
As the Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed has become accepted in other areas of the organization there has been a decrease the organization’s overall sitter usage, accounting for thousands of dollars in staff overtime each pay period. Additionally, these sitters were being pulled from routine patient care assignments to 1:1 sitter assignments thereby increasing staffing shortages on the nursing units. The use of the Soma® Safe Enclosure Bed has eased this shortage on the units where it is utilized.
Lastly, we have found the Vivax Medical Corporation team to be extremely responsive to our customer service needs. Their understanding regarding the regulatory pressures and challenges that healthcare providers are faced with today and their willingness to do what ever it takes has continued to foster our loyalty to the product.
Candace L. Maffei, RN
Nurse Manager, Geriatric Psychiatric Unit