Allina Health System: Creating and Testing A Best Practices Bundle of Interventions to Reduce Harmful Falls

Prevention of Hospital Falls

Dates of Program: January 2006 to September 2007

Field of Work: Prevention of patient falls in hospitals

Synopsis of the Work: Prevention of Hospital Falls was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in which eight hospitals collaborated with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., to test interventions aimed at preventing harmful patient falls. Informed by feedback from the hospitals, the institute developed and disseminated a package of strategies to prevent injuries from patient falls in acute care hospital units.

This sidebar tells the story of United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., one of the participating hospitals, that developed and tested ways to reduce harmful falls, and created a "best practices" bundle of interventions (e.g., a yellow wrist band for patients at risk of falls and hourly rounds to assess patients). The hospital then implemented the interventions in two nursing units. The mixed results (the overall fall rate declined in one unit and increased in the other) yielded important lessons about the need to maintain focus on the area targeted for improvement.

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