Nursing

Designing a fall prevention program

Nurse Leader Insider, December 21, 2017

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The following is an excerpt from HCPro Nursing’s latest release, Patient Safety Strategies: Evidence-Based Practices for Fall Prevention.

Every individual and agency that cares for people has a different fall risk profile. The first thing to remember about developing a fall prevention program is that fall prevention interventions must be individualized to each patient and hospital. No two people fall for exactly the same reason, and no prescribed set of interventions will work for everyone.

Designing patient-specific interventions is the most important part of any fall prevention program. Generic, one-size-fits-all programs usually don’t fit any one patient very well and have limited usefulness. Although we must teach all staff members the general safety precautions that apply in every situation, such as cleaning up spills and eliminating clutter, these are in no way sufficient to significantly reduce falls in any hospital or other healthcare setting. Unless targeted interventions are planned for each patient, a fall prevention program is doomed for failure.

Some hospitalwide steps exist that may reduce the risk of falls. Facilities should incorporate the following:

  • Staff education programs to raise awareness of fall risk and teach prevention measures. The information in this manual could provide several hours of education.
  • Fall prevention education for patients and family members or caretakers.
  • Promoting a culture of safety where reporting falls and near-falls are handled in a non-punitive or blame-free manner.
  • Fall Prevention Unit Champions.
  • Regular review of every patient’s medications, particularly psychotropics, pain medications, and cardiac and antihypertensive medications.
  • Regular review of each patient’s fall history along with the hospital’s or ‘s monthly and annual fall statistics.
  • Balance and gait screenings of all patients.


For more information and advice about fall prevention programs, check out Patient Safety Strategies: Evidence-Based Practices for Fall Prevention.

 



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