Three Hospitals in Madison, Wis., Extend the Work of a Falls Team Started by a Patient Safety Collaborative

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 the Madison Patient Safety Collaborative, organized by local hospitals and medical groups in Madison, Wis. It expanded its work to reduce harmful falls in three hospitals under Prevention of Hospital Falls. Meriter Hospital, University of Wisconsin Hospital, and St. Mary's Hospital analyzed past fall injuries and tested interventions (e.g., a fall prevention kit and patient safety rounds). While the hospitals met targets for fall-related injuries, the collaborative concluded that fall prevention interventions were more effective than harm prevention interventions.

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