Injuries from Falls and Immobility

Falls resulting in injury are a prevalent patient safety problem.

Every year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of patients fall in hospitals with 30 percent to 50 percent resulting in injury according to The Joint Commission. These injured patients require additional treatment which, on average, can add 6.3 days and approximately $14,000 to a hospital stay.

Elderly patients with fall risk factors are not the only patients who are vulnerable to falling. Any patient of any age or physical ability can be at risk for a fall due to physiological changes related to a medical condition, medications, or a procedure. These factors make fall prevention difficult and complex.

Accomplishments

Successful strategies have been developed to reduce and prevent falls. One strategy includes the use of standardized assessment tools to identify fall and injury risk factors, which may be used to determine interventions for prevention. Systematic reporting and analysis of fall events also are important components of a fall prevention program.

The HAP-HIIN Falls Project has developed a toolkit and assembled resources to assist hospitals in achieving a significant and sustainable reduction in their fall rate. As a result of this collaborative approach, HIIN-wide falls with injury rates calculated for years 1 and 2 of the HIIN Falls Project indicated that HIIN-participating hospitals experienced an 11 percent improvement over the baseline rate during year 1 and a 6 percent improvement over the baseline rate during year 2 of the project.


2019 Plans

During 2019, the HIIN has continued facility-driven information sharing and webinar presentations from nationally recognized experts, with a focus on:

  • Sustaining the gain
  • Identifying current best practices and implementation
  • Analyzing fall event data 
  • Identifying the most successful fall prevention strategies
  • Addressing myths that prevent the development of proactive fall prevention programs

HAP Contacts

For more information, contact Rick Kundravi and Susan Wallace. For media inquiries, contact Rachel Moore, director, media relations.
 

HAP News

May 29, 2020

New KFF Poll Reveals Americans’ Views about COVID-19’s Impact

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May 08, 2020

Patient Safety Authority Annual Report Highlights Progress in Patient Safety

Pennsylvania’s Patient Safety Authority (PSA) has released its 2019 Annual Report. The report highlights activities of the PSA, including its September 2019-launched quarterly peer-reviewed journal, Patient Safety. It also includes an analysis of patient safety events reported into the Pennsylvania patient safety reporting system (PA-PSRS), a secure database that collects health care facility data on “serious events” and “incidents.”

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