Fall Prevention: Zero Tolerance

 Fall prevention is top of mind for caregivers, managers and executives in all healthcare settings. Falls are one of the costliest and most deadly adverse events that can occur, whether the person who falls is in a healthcare setting or in the home.

According to the CDC, one in three persons age 65 or older will fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the same age group. The cost is enormous – it is estimated that by 2020, the cost of falls will exceed $54 billion.

Specific interventions to prevent falls in healthcare settings are in place and improving rapidly. Identification of those at risk, appropriate interventions, and frequent reassessment are the hallmarks of programs designed to reduce patient falls.

As the focus on fall reduction continues, change is occurring at many levels. Valid and reliable tools are more commonly used to identify those patients at risk, fall prevention tool kits are being implemented for patients at risk and national standards are being shared across organizations.

This focus on fall prevention is even affecting how new hospitals are being designed. New healthcare facilities are being built with fall prevention in mind, featuring wider doorways, handrails throughout the room and patient room locations nearer to the nursing station.

No matter your work setting, patient fall prevention should be foremost in your mind. Identification and reduction of risk is critical in decreasing these potentially devastating events.