Falls In Acute Care Hospitals Essay

2157 words - 9 pages

Falls and fall-induced injuries are among the most common and serious health problems facing hospitalized patients in the United States. For the past years, the prevalence of inpatient falls has been increasing and has gained national attention, not only because it is a safety problem but most importantly because it is avoidable (Ganz DA, Huang C, Saliba D, et al. 2013). Inpatient falls can be problematic for patients of all ages, however, it is most concerning among the elderly population ( Tzeng, 2010) . Inpatient falls is an important issue as it can lead to both fatal and nonfatal injuries and result in adverse health events. Therefore, fall prevention has been placed among the Joint ...view middle of the document...

Hospital related Falls Background
Inpatient falls are a major safety concern in acute care facilities. In fact, "statistics indicate that patient falls occur in approximately 1.9 to 3% of all acute care hospitalizations with anywhere from 2-15% of inpatients experiencing at least one fall" ( Pearson and Coburn , 2011). In addition, Leanne Currie, assistant professor at Columbia University School of Nursing, reported that inpatient fall rate ranges anywhere from 1.7 to 25 falls per 1,000 patients, and this number varies greatly across unit with the " geropsychiatric population " having the highest risk for fall ( 2007). In the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, Fitzpatrick (2011) states that when inpatient fall occur and resulted in serious injuries, hospital stay tend to increase, thus increasing healthcare costs. Viewing that inpatient falls is preventable, in 2008, the center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made the decision to no longer reimburse hospitals for inpatients fall- related injuries such as fractures and dislocations (Ganz DA, Huang C, Saliba D, et al. 2013). Consequently, Hospital administrators and other staff members have been working diligently to prevent the incidences of inpatient falls and fall-related injuries. As a result, a lot of research studies have been done aiming at identifying the causes of inpatient falls and preventive measures that be implemented to reduce the number of injuries and death resulting from falls in the acute care settings.
QSEN nursing competencies: Teamwork and Collaboration, and Evidenced-based practice
Preventing falls among patients in a healthcare settings is not only the responsibility of the nurses caring for the patients but also requires good teamwork and collaboration. During the course of short hospital stay, patients get to interact with different healthcare professionals within the healthcare disciplinary team , including physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, and others. Consequently, effective collaboration and communication are essential among team members. When health care professionals are not collaborating and communicating effectively, patient safety is at risk. For one thing, it can lead to lack of critical information being shared about the patient's status, and may result in inadequate provision of care to patients and also result in patient harm. Aiming at improving the care provided to patients and believing that nursing graduate students are entering the workplace lacking the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes that are essential for patient quality care and safety ,the first phase of QSEN project highlights the Knowledge Skills and Attitudes (KSAs) that are expected of all new nursing graduates, and also empowers them with the tools that are necessary to be successful in the workplace (Cronenwett et al, 2007 ). Since nurses are responsible to provide safe, high quality, and evidence based practice care, evidence-based is...

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