When a resident is a fall risk, using bed rails seems like a simple solution. Before you install bed rails on a resident’s bed, you must first be aware of the regulations that your facility must meet to stay out of trouble with AHCA.

Bed Rail Regulation

Firstly, it is important to understand that bed rails are considered a physical restraint.

‘Physical restraint’ means a device which physically limits, restricts, or deprives an individual of movement or mobility, including, but not limited to, a half-bed rail, a full-bed rail, a geriatric chair, and a posey restraint. The term ‘physical restraint’ also includes any device which was not specifically manufactured as a restraint, but which has been altered, arranged, or otherwise used for this purpose. The term does not include bandage material used for the purpose of binding a wound or an injury.

In addition to the requirements of Section 429.41(1)(k), F.S., the use of physical restraints by a facility must be reviewed by the resident’s physician annually.

Please note: Any device, including half-bed rails, which the resident chooses to use, and which he or she can remove or avoid without assistance, is not considered a physical restraint.

The use of physical restraints is limited to half-bed rails as prescribed and documented by the resident’s physician with the consent of the resident or, if applicable, the resident’s representative, designee or the resident’s surrogate, guardian, or attorney.


Any device, including half-bed rails, which the resident chooses to use and can remove or can avoid without assistance, is NOT considered a physical restraint.

1.You must have a physician’s order for a Half Bed Rail

2.The order needs to be renewed once a year.

3.The resident’s 1823 needs to mention the bed rails.

4.If your resident is on hospice this is the ONLY time you may use a full bed rail.

1.Keep a bed rail list either on paper or in a spreadsheet

2.Review the list and make sure all bed rails have valid orders

3.Make sure your resident’s 1823 reflects the use of bed rails

4. Make rounds with your list, and visit your resident’s rooms to make sure  

  1.         A) There are no bed rails that you are unaware of, and;
  2.         B) That the bed rails are attached properly and in good working condition


Important: Don’t forget to document everything that leads up the use of the bed rails

This includes your notification to the Physician, as well as whether the resident is alert and has given consent. If the resident is confused, then include documentation that the responsible party is aware and has given consent.

Bed Rail List