Falls represent a significant problem for patients such as elderly people, causing injuries and even death. The issue is worsened by the fact that it did not receive sufficient attention in recent years.
According to some sources, falls hold a leading position in causing injuries or fatal outcomes among patients aged 65 and older (Stevens et al., 2017). Various studies were conducted to identify fall rates in hospitals and their correlation with injury occurrence. Recent research has shown that fall rates may differ from approximately 1 to almost 9 falls/1,000 patient days depending on the facility (Baernholdt et al., 2018). Such data may indicate not only that the fall rates are significant but also that preventive measures may considerably decrease the probability of falls.
As already mentioned, a significant number of studies are conducted to assess the problem and introduce various potential solutions or mitigations. Some sources state that fall rates show a decrease of almost 30% during the last decade (Walsh et al., 2018). Such a decrease may be closely linked with growing attention to the problem and the implementation of a wide variety of prevention programs. Prevention initiatives should be implemented in diverse stages, including pre-fall prevention, post-fall prevention, fall injury prevention, and cross-fall prevention (Hamm et al., 2016). Therefore, fall prevention practices should be as comprehensive as possible and include several dimensions and approaches.
Familiarizing the patient with the surrounding, providing easy-to-reach call lights, and providing sufficient lighting are some efficient techniques.
There are two primary objectives for the fall prevention quality improvement initiative. First, it may be necessary to achieve lesser fall rates in general. Second, the initiative aims to decrease fall-related injuries. A multifactor prevention program should be implemented within four months in the targeted facility. The initiative should include lowering bed positions, locking bed and wheelchair breaks, providing sufficient information regarding call light use, preventing overload of patient care areas, using supplemental night lighting, and keeping the patient’s belongings within safe reach.
The implementation should be conducted by instructing the facility staff. Both fall rate data and injury correlation data should be collected throughout the period. Study: The predicted decrease in fall rates is at least 10% after the first month of implementation. Fall-related injuries are also expected to decrease by 10%. If collected data does not meet the predictions, the program should be adjusted for the next cycle.
As the initiative may be considered a nursing fall prevention intervention, the staff of the targeted facility represents the primary human resources supporting the implementation. According to some sources, it may also be beneficial to conduct professional support and supervision to the nursing personnel (Alves et al., 2017). The program does not involve any direct financial expenses, and hence no department support may be needed during the process of implementation.
Alves, V. C., Freitas, W. C., Ramos, J. S., Chagas, S. R., Azevedo, C., & Mata, L. R. (2017). Actions of the fall prevention protocol: Mapping with the classification of nursing interventions. Revista Latino-Americana De Enfermagem, 25. Web.
Baernholdt, M., Hinton, I. D., Yan, G., Xin, W., Cramer, E., & Dunton, N. (2018). Fall rates in urban and rural NURSING UNITS. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 33(4), 326–333. Web.
Hamm, J., Money, A. G., Atwal, A., & Paraskevopoulos, I. (2016). Fall prevention intervention technologies: A conceptual framework and survey of the state of the art. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 59, 319–345. Web.
Stevens, J. A., Smith, M. L., Parker, E. M., Jiang, L., & Floyd, F. D. (2017). Implementing a clinically based fall prevention program. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 14(1), 71–77. Web.
Walsh, C. M., Liang, L.-J., Grogan, T., Coles, C., McNair, N., & Nuckols, T. K. (2018). Temporal trends in fall rates with the implementation of a multifaceted fall prevention program: Persistence pays off. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 44(2), 75–83. Web.