The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare’s Preventing Falls with Injury project has provided some substantial results. According to the Center approximately, 11,000 fatal patient falls occur in U.S. hospitals every year. While this is an alarming number, it can be decreased with appropriate action. When hospitals participated in the Center’s Preventing Falls with Injury project, the overall result was a 62% reduction in patient injuries from falls as well as a 35% reduction in patients falling.
Between 30-35% of patients that fall sustain an injury. On average, the injuries lead to an additional 6.3 days in the hospital. If the Center’s method is applied to a 200-bed facility, the number of patients injured in a fall could be decreased from 117 to 45 and result in approximately $1 million in annual cost reductions. If the Center’s approach is applied to a 400-bed hospital, it could reduce the number of falls with injury by 133 and save approximately $1.9 million on an annual basis.
The Center and the participating hospitals designed 21 solutions that produced these results including:
- Empowering patients to take more ownership of their own safety
- Engaging all hospital staff to make sure no patient walks alone
- Involving patients and their family in the fall safety program
- Using a validated fall risk assessment tool
While these solutions may take time and planning to implement, they are reasonable. It is just a matter of hospitals and medical centers making them priorities.
For the details on the project, click here: Preventing Falls with Injury