Corporate Compliance

Fall risk assessments

Compliance Monitor, April 29, 2005

Q: How can we get our nurses to do a risk assessment, or even to do a medication evaluation as part of a risk assessment?

A: There are many tools that are available. Try to embed the risk assessment tools into existing risk assessment documents. For example, a risk assessment tool and factors to consider for a fall are included at admission.

Older individuals in particular can come in with anywhere from 10-15 different medications, and this can be a taxing task for nurses to get that information from the patient or family members.

One thing that I have found helpful, at least in the community setting, and I think you can use in the hospital setting, is what's known as a brown bag. You tell a patient before they come into the hospital to collect all the medications they have and put them in a brown paper bag and bring them in.

Editor's note: The following was excerpted from the HCPro audioconference "Patient falls and medications: How to comply with the JCAHO's Patient Safety Goal." Rein Tideiksaar, president of FallPrevent, LLC, provided the answer. For more information, call customer service at 800/650-6787 or visit

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