Patient and family engagement can help prevent falls

August 23, 2017

Adding patient and family engagement education to your hospital’s fall prevention bundle can help reduce fall rates in the acute care setting. Not only does this mean a better outcome for your patient, but also a savings for your hospital. Studies show that accidental falls in acute care settings have resulted in serious injuries to patients, to the extent that the Joint Commission has labelled fall-related sentinel events as a priority initiative (National Patient Safety Goal 9 -NPSG 9).

From a cost perspective, there is an average increase of more than $13,300 in associated operating costs per patient fall. Also, the average length of stay increases by at least six days per patient fall. By 2020, that could translate to a national total cost of $47 billion.

At a Midwest suburban hospital, they have engaged patients and their families as active care partners to prevent falls with educational videos. With the use of the patient educational engagement videos, the hospital improved on its average fall rate per quarter in its orthopedic (from 2.86 falls per 1000 patients-days to 0.88 falls per 1000 patient-days) and medical-surgical units (from 3.27 falls per 1000 patient-days to 1.2 falls per 1000 patient-days).

By including patients and families in the hospital’s fall prevention bundle, it reinforced positive patient outcomes, overall organizational patient safety goals and cost savings to the hospital. (Tamara Glover)


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