As a Medicare provider, UHC is required to follow federal rules that place strict limits on the use of measures that restrict a patient's freedom of movement. This includes any type of restraint unless ordered by a physician to protect a patient from hurting himself or others. Restraints may include medications as well as wrist, ankle, vest restraint and even include lower bed rails if they are being used to restrict a patient's freedom of movement.
Many patients in hospitals are at a high risk for falls. Hospitals in the past might have restrained these patients in order to prevent falling, broken bones or injury. However, because of these regulations, these patients will probably not be restrained now. Lower bed rails will not be up.
We want you to be aware that UHC cannot provide constant oversight of every patient. We welcome and encourage patient's families to participate in the care and support of patients to help us prevent falls and other accidents. If a patient has any habits that make him prone to confusion or wandering, it is important that the patient's nursing staff be informed. A family member is welcome to stay with a loved one. We know that falls and accidents occasionally happen in the hospital but we believe that if family, the patient and the physician and staff at the hospital work together we can try and avoid these unfortunate accidents.