Patient Safety: Hospital Inpatient Falls Essay

1314 words - 5 pages

If patient safety is the most important issue in Health Care facilities then how come hospital inpatient falls continue to be the most reported of all accidental falls (Tzeng & Yin, 2009)? Throughout the years, hospitals continue to make changes to decrease the risk of accidents and increase the quality of patient safety. With research studies and improvements made, patient falls still hold the largest portion of reported incidents in hospitals (Tzeng, & Yin, 2008). According to Tzeng & Yin (2008), “fall prevention programs apparently do not effectively reduce inpatient fall rates because of human factors and ergonomics in a hospital environment (p.179, para. 2). The two studies reviewed in this paper were performed with the hopes of decreasing the high fall rate among inpatients.

In a qualitative study “Nurse’s Solutions to Prevent Inpatient Falls in Hospital Patient Rooms,” Huey-Ming Tzeng and Chang-Yi Yin’s purpose was to promote understanding of and to prevent inpatient falls. The research took place between February and April of 2007 in one acute, adult unit consisting of 32 beds in a Michigan medical center. The basis was on individual participation in a 45 to 60 minute long interview with nine current nursing staff and their opinions on five primary root causes of inpatient falls. Twenty-four potential solutions identified from the nurse’s interviews and the intervention strategies toward preventing patient falls were used to elicit and analyze data for useful and cost-effective fall-prevention strategies (Tzeng, & Yin, 2008).

Huey-Ming Tzeng and Chang-Yi Yin also did an exploratory study “Relatioinship between call light use and response time and inpatient falls in acute care settings,” to determine whether the length of time for a call light to be answered and the call light use rate can contribute to the fall rates in acute care settings. Tzeng and Yin (2009) identified the main reasons for call light use and the impact that hourly rounds have in decreasing the call light use rate and patient falls. This study was done in a community hospital located in Michigan and used archived hospital data for analyses. The archives involved were from four adult acute care units during February 2007- June 2008: one surgical unit with 53 beds, two medical units with both totaling 87 beds and one medical-surgical combined unit with 58 beds (Tzeng, & Yin, 2009).

Risk factors for falls are categorized by intrinsic or extrinsic (Tzeng, & Yin, 2009). According to Tzeng and Yin (2008), intrinsic factors, referring to the patient themselves, are related to their health status and possibly associated with age-related changes: previous falls, reduced vision, unsteady gait, musculoskeletal system deficits, mental status deficits, acute illness, and chronic illness. Extrinsic factors are involved in the patient’s environment, including medications, lack of support equipment, furniture, bathroom designs, small patient rooms, poor lighting,...

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