Sentara Healthcare-Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital: Developing and Testing a Tool to Identify Patients at High Risk for Harm From a Fall

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.

One of the participants, Sentara Healthcare, an integrated health care organization in Virginia, worked with two of its hospitals to test a tool to identify patients at high risk for harm from a fall and used other fall injury prevention interventions (e.g., purple blankets for patients at risk of falls). One hospital implemented the tool while the other did not (the control). The project identified a "new type of risk": patients at high risk for harm from a fall, and the need for new interventions for these patients. Read more in the sidebar.

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