Falls remain a leading cause of non-fatal/fatal injuries in Washington and Oregon for persons over 64 years old, both in and out of the hospital environment.
In-hospital falls with serious injury remain one of the top-10 Sentinel events reported to the Joint Commission Sentinel Event database. The most recent statistics show that inpatient falls with injury are continuing to rise in both states. It has also been shown that men are 25.5 percent more likely to die from a fatal fall than women in Washington State. If you cross over into Oregon, this age-adjusted death rate climbs to 36 percent for men over their female counterparts.
As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated within our region, several patient safety and quality improvement programs were put on hold to reallocate resources to care for patients in clinical patient care units.
Throughout this pandemic, WSHA has remained a trusted and collaborative partner, connecting with hospital members regarding patient safety initiatives including injurious falls, which remains on top of the list for hospitals quality improvement. WSHA has developed a new collaborative known as the Falls with Injury Prevention Panel (FIPP).
This collaborative is driven by key stakeholders throughout Washington dedicated to providing evidence-based strategies that include patient/family engagement and community-based programs, along with the utilization of data to better understand our vulnerable populations and to target key issues surrounding fall prevention. Three primary aims will be the focus for the FIPP in 2021-2022. They include goals to:
- Reduce in-hospital fall with injury rates by engaging Washington and Oregon member hospitals in focusing on post fall huddle management, including stratifying fall outcome data to identify vulnerability within individual facilities.
- Increase patient family engagement across continuum of care through post-fall management in-hospital that includes patients and families at time of admission and throughout stay, and developing communication, resources and an awareness campaign.
- Synergize (explore, convene, and collaborate with hospitals, EMS, the Washington State Department of Health, fall prevention leaders with state fall coalitions and community fall prevention and related programs to support ambulatory, community and hospital-based fall with injury prevention).
The inaugural meeting was held in March, with representation from hospitals from throughout Washington. Currently, we are still actively seeking additional hospital member representation for the FIPP collaborative. For more information as well as meeting dates and times, please contact Amy Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.