Kaiser Foundation Hospitals: Reducing Harmful Falls on a Medical-Surgical Unit

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.

The sidebar tells the story of one of the participating hospitals, the Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, Calif. It tested the impact of 10 fall prevention interventions in a medical-surgical unit (e.g., low beds and moving at-risk patients to rooms near the nurses' station). While the hospital lowered the rate of harmful falls, project leaders noted that these interventions are not as important as staff accountability for keeping their patients safe.

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