CHI Franciscan fall prevention program a success

February 21, 2019

CHI Franciscan Fall Prevention team
CHI Franciscan Fall Prevention team

CHI Franciscan is making significant progress in reducing falls across their system. Within eight months of launching the ambitious fall prevention program, eight out of nine facilities exceeded the goal of 10 percent reduction in inpatient falls with injury. CHI Franciscan is a powerful example of how a dedicated focus, strong leadership, engaged staff, evidence-based practices and persistence can make a huge impact on quality improvement across multiple hospitals.

The work is led by the CHI Franciscan Fall Committee, which meets monthly at a centrally located hospital and represents all facilities. Their falls process improvement journey began in the fall of 2016 and is currently ongoing.

“In a hospital, people will fall and at times there is nothing that can be done to stop the fall. Through the work of the Regional Fall Committee, we have been able to take data and evidence-based practice and turn them into a program that has seen all falls and falls with injuries decrease in all our hospitals in the last year,” said CHI St. Joseph Hospital Medical Center CNO and CHI Franciscan Regional Fall Committee Executive Sponsor Ruth Flint. “It has been a more than two-year journey and a struggle at times to move eight hospitals in the same direction but when we see the reduction in harms and falls, the hard work is worth it.”

The fall prevention program has a variety of hallmarks, including:

  • Incorporating Lean methodologies, including an initial rapid process improvement workshop (RPIW), to assess the current state and develop an improvement model with key elements that could be standardized and integrated across all hospitals within the health care system;
  • Leveraging evidence-based practice models to provide the framework and infrastructure in developing a sustainable fall prevention program;
  • Strong leadership engagement, including participating in meetings, expanding the committee to include front-line clinicians, rounding on clinical units and interacting with front-line staff;
  • Emphasis on communication, accountability and transparency across the continuum, including visual displays;
  • Strong emphasis on the post-fall huddle process;
  • Fall-prevention awareness during the month of September, which included all disciplines, patients and families at each facility;
  • Integrating fall risk factors in the electronic medical records.

We at WSHA congratulate CHI Franciscan on the impressive work!


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