A new report underscores the need to address and cut down on falls inside hospitals.
An estimated 700,000 to 1 million people fall in U.S. hospitals each year, says a new report by the American Hospital Association’s Health Research & Educational Trust. And 30 to 35 percent of those people sustain injuries. It’s clear that for many hospitals, preventing patient falls is a critical issue.
Hospitals & Health Networks weighs in on the report, which highlights five hospital case studies that could help other healthcare facilities reduce falls. The report noted key factors that contribute to patient falls, including use of call lights and organizational and educational issues.
One hospital featured in the report, Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center in San Diego, saw the need to improve communication among staff:
After determining that most falls occurred when patients left their bed without assistance, a unit-based approach was taken that involved full engagement of front-line staff, going beyond nursing to include environmental services staff, physicians and others. The culture has shifted to a ‘no one walks alone’ mentality.
By making the effort to identify and address risk factors, this medical center, like the others in the report, was able to reduce the number of falls and fall-related injuries. Read on for summaries of the other case studies and to access the full report.