James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital: Preventing Injury Falls on Two Medical Nursing Units

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.

At the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Fla., one participating hospital, staff reviewed the records of previous falls resulting in injury to determine causes and risk factors and then developed changes to prevent falls in two pilot units. These changes spread quickly to other units in the hospital. Both pilot units and the hospital as a whole reduced injury fall rates, as described in the sidebar.

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