Preventing Falls and Fall-related Injuries in Health Care Facilities
Falls with serious injury are consistently listed as one of the Top 10 Sentinel events reported to the Joint Commission Sentinel Event database. While extensive clinical research and evidence-based strategies in fall prevention exist, reducing injurious falls in the hospital environment remains difficult. Several factors contribute to falls such as variation in assessment tools to identify fall risk factors, ineffective communication and handoffs, inadequately individualizing a patient’s plan of care and physical environment.
Literature review shows that close to one-third of falls can be prevented. A high-reliable and sustainable fall prevention program includes:
- Executive-leadership sponsored interdisciplinary fall reduction committee.
- An evidence-based comprehensive fall risk assessment tool.
- Communication and educational plan for all staff.
- Patient and Family Engagement.
- Post Fall Management.