Inside scoop from our experts: Fall prevention ideas

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, March 15, 2010

This week’s question and answer come from a conversation on the JourneyTalk listserv. This week, our answer comes from Neal Loes, RN, BSN, MS, vice president and chief nursing officer,Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames, IA.

Q: Our organization is looking to improve our inpatient fall rate. What have other organizations done to focus on this issue?

A: Our inpatient fall rate for past two years was 3.8/1,000 patient days. We decided to make this an organizational focus and a goal for administration and nursing leadership. We created a multidisciplinary team that I chair as the CNO. We meet monthly. Here are some of the things we have done:

  • Evidence-based fall risk assessment
  • Re-education of staff about the fall risk program
  • Implemented the yellow wristband for all identified fall risk patients
  • Increased use of bed alarms and volunteer sitter program
  • Implemented hourly bathroom events as we know that 42% of our falls occur with bathroom needs
  • Data analysis of falls by category, time of day, day of week and intervention effectiveness (There was an increase in fall incidents at change of shift hour so we changed the tasks of our PCTs to address bathroom rounds before vital signs)
  • Now investigating poly-pharmacy review on fall risk patients

Through the first six months of the year, our fall rate is now 2.8/1,000 patient days. This is a 26% reduction in falls. Now the trick is to hold the gain.


Editor's note: On JourneyTalk you can network with your peers, discuss the new manual, share your helpful tips, and get advice on how to meet the program's expectations. Become a member of JourneyTalk when you subscribe to HCPro's Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

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