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Can Staff Response Time Affect The Rate Of Falls In Hospitals?

2449 words - 10 pages

Research Proposal: Can Staff Response Time Affect the Rate of Falls in Hospitals?
Since healthcare organizations nationwide strive for positive patient outcomes and patient satisfaction, preventing falls among patients in healthcare settings remains a nursing priority. Unfortunately, fall prevention is not a new problem. Nurses face the challenges of recognizing patients who may be at high risk for falls and intervening to prevent falls on a daily basis. Yet, even with great effort from nursing to prevent falls, they appear to continue to occur. Because of the significant consequences of falls for both patients and healthcare organizations, further studies need to be conducted to examine call bell response time and the rate of patient falls to develop evidence based practice that may reduce the rate of falls across healthcare organizations. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to propose the significant need for further research to identify whether or not an association exists between the rate of falls and call bell response time.
Problem Statement
The problem is that falls may cause severe consequences for patients, as well as lead to financial problems for hospitals. Falls remain one of the most troublesome patient-safety concerns facing hospitals. Fall prevention will remain a challenge as the inpatient population ages. Both the possibility of being injured from a fall and the risk of falling proves to rise as people get older (Butcher, 2013). Understanding falls will facilitate in developing interventions to help reduce the rate of falls.
Scope of Importance/Background
Falls among hospitalized patients remains one of the challenging patient-safety issues facing hospitals today throughout the country. Not only are falls costly, but also they may cause injuries or even death for patients. Unfortunately, between 700,000 and one million patients experience falls in a hospital annually (Butcher, 2013). Hospitals are faced with the cost of falls, even though the majority of falls may be minor. Interestingly, inpatient falls are included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' list of hospital-acquired conditions for which hospitals will not receive reimbursement (Butcher, 2013). Despite the fact that falls may be prevented, such factors as weakness, chronic condition, and mobility issues may contribute to falls. Additionally, such environmental factors as telephone or call bell cords, positioning of beds, and nursing response time to call bells are contributing factors that make fall prevention very challenging.
Interestingly, whether fall prevention programs are effective or not in assisting nursing staff in reducing falls and injuries related to falls remain inconclusive. By investigating staff-centered indicators for falls, future programs to reduce falls may be more effective (Tzeng, Titler, Ronis, & Yin, 2012). Such an indicator as nursing response time to call bells, is influenced by nurses’ reactions to...

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