Hospital Fall Prevention: A Systematic Review of Implementation, Components, Adherence, and Effectiveness

RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.22). 03/2013; 61(4). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.12169
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: To systematically document the implementation, components, comparators, adherence, and effectiveness of published fall prevention approaches in U.S. acute care hospitals. DESIGN: Systematic review. Studies were identified through existing reviews, searching five electronic databases, screening reference lists, and contacting topic experts for studies published through August 2011. SETTING: U.S. acute care hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Studies reporting in-hospital falls for intervention groups and concurrent (e.g., controlled trials) or historic comparators (e.g., before-after studies). INTERVENTION: Fall prevention interventions. MEASUREMENTS: Incidence rate ratios (IRR, ratio of fall rate postintervention or treatment group to the fall rate preintervention or control group) and ratings of study details. RESULTS: Fifty-nine studies met inclusion criteria. Implementation strategies were sparsely documented (17% not at all) and included staff education, establishing committees, seeking leadership support, and occasionally continuous quality improvement techniques. Most interventions (81%) included multiple components (e.g., risk assessments (often not validated), visual risk alerts, patient education, care rounds, bed-exit alarms, and postfall evaluations). Fifty-four percent did not report on fall prevention measures applied in the comparison group, and 39% neither reported fidelity data nor described adherence strategies such as regular audits and feedback to ensure completion of care processes. Only 45% of concurrent and 15% of historic control studies reported sufficient data to compare fall rates. The pooled postintervention incidence rate ratio (IRR) was 0.77 (95% confidence interval = 0.52-1.12, P = .17; eight studies; I(2) : 94%). Meta-regressions showed no systematic association between implementation intensity, intervention complexity, comparator information, or adherence levels and IRR. CONCLUSION: Promising approaches exist, but better reporting of outcomes, implementation, adherence, intervention components, and comparison group information is necessary to establish evidence on how hospitals can successfully prevent falls.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is no conclusive evidence that hospital fall prevention programs can reduce the number of falls. We aimed to investigate the effect of a targeted individualized falls prevention program in a geriatric rehabilitation hospital. This was a two-stage cluster-controlled trial carried out in five geriatric rehabilitation wards. Participants were 752 patients with mean age 83.2 years. The intervention was a two-phase targeted intervention falls prevention program. The intervention included an assessment of patient's risk by a risk assessment tool and an individual management that includes medical, behavioral, cognitive and environmental modifications. Patients with moderate risk received additionally orientation guidance, and mobility restriction. Patients determined as high risk were additionally placed under permanent personal supervision. Outcome measures were falls during hospital stay. In both stages of the trial, intervention and control wards were almost similar at baseline for individual patient characteristics. Overall, 37 falls occurred during the study. No significant difference was found in fall rates during follow-up between intervention and control wards: 1.306 falls per 1000 bed days in the intervention groups and 1.763-1.826 falls per 1000 bed days in the control groups. The adjusted hazard ratio for falls in the intervention groups was 1.36 (95 % confidence interval 0.89-1.77) (P = 0.08) in the first stage and 1.27 (95 % confidence interval 0.92-1.67) (P = 0.12) in the second stage. These results suggest that in a geriatric rehabilitation hospital a targeted individualized intervention falls prevention program is not effective in reducing falls.
    Aging - Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s40520-015-0330-7 · 1.01 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Article-at-a-Glance Background: Many hospitals classify inpatient falls as assisted (if a staff member is present to ease the patient's descent or break the fall) or unassisted for quality measurement purposes. Unassisted falls are more likely to result in injury, but there is limited research quantifying this effect or linking the assisted/unassisted classification to processes of care. A study was conducted to link the assisted/unassisted fall classification to both processes and outcomes of care, thereby demonstrating its suitability for use in quality measurement. This was only the second known published study to quantify the increased risk of injury associated with falling unassisted (versus assisted), and the first to estimate the effects of falling unassisted (versus assisted) on the likelihood of specific levels of injury.Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of falls from all available 2011 data for 6,539 adult medical, surgical, and medical-surgical units in 1,464 general hospitals participating in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®) was performed.Results: Participating units reported 166,883 falls (3.44 falls per 1,000 patient-days). Excluding repeat falls, 85.5% of falls were unassisted. Assisted and unassisted falls were associated with different processes and outcomes: Fallers for whom a fall prevention protocol was not in place were more likely to fall unassisted than those for whom one was in place (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.39 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.32, 1.46]), and unassisted falls were more likely to result in injury (aOR, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.52, 1.67]).Conclusions: The assisted/unassisted fall classification is associated with care processes and patient outcomes, making it suitable for quality measurement. Unassisted falls are more likely than assisted falls to result in injury and should be considered a target for future prevention efforts.
    Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources 08/2014; 40(8).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Falls in the acute care hospital are a significant patient safety issue. The purpose of this article was to describe the use of process improvement methodology to address inpatient falls on 5 units. This initiative focused on a proactive approach to falls, identification of high-risk patients, and a complete assessment of patients at risk. During the project timeframe, the mean total fall rate decreased from 3.7 to 2.8 total falls per 1000 patient days.
    Journal of nursing care quality 02/2014; 29(3). DOI:10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000053 · 0.77 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 4, 2014