Minnesota Hospital Association

Patient Safety

Preventing Patient Falls

Falls while in the hospital can result in serious injury to the patient, yet falls are one of the most difficult patient safety issues to address because of the multiple potential causes. Patients can fall because of preventable equipment issues such as lack of guard rails or missing slip mats, but also from trying to get out of bed without assistance. Patients who are disoriented or on certain medications are also at risk for falling, and the risk of serious injury from falls increases with age.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, falls are the most common adverse event in hospitals. Minnesota hospitals have made fall prevention a top priority and our hospitals are working to reduce and eventually eliminate falls that result in injury. Preventing falls takes cooperation from the entire care team, the patient and his or her family.

SAFE from FALLS

In 2007, the Minnesota Hospital Association initiated the Call to Action framework around falls prevention, resulting in SAFE from FALLS. Since SAFE from FALLS began, falls resulting in serious harm to patients have decreased by 25 percent in Minnesota hospitals. SAFE from FALLS provides hospitals with resources of best clinical practice to prevent patient falls, a road map of best practices and a tool kit to implement the road map recommendations in their facilities. Currently, 115 hospitals are participating in SAFE from FALLS, which means they have agreed to implement the best practices as outlined in the roadmap. The SAFE from FALLS roadmap is based on the work of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 8 (VISN 8) Patient Safety Center and Minnesota Adverse Health Event Learnings.

Falls are one of the 10 areas of focus being addressed through the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network. This public-private partnership, which builds on the work already underway through SAFE from FALLS, aims to reduce hospital falls by 40 percent by 2013.

call to actio nlogoDownload the Road Map to a Comprehensive Falls Prevention Program.

 

Tool Kit for Hospital Staff

The tool kit provides best practices that hospitals can use to implement the road map recommendations in their facilities. Hospitals may copy, translate, distribute and present the following SAFE from FALLS Tool Kit items as long as you reference the Minnesota Hospital Association as the source of this material. If the tool is hospital-specific, please also cite the hospital as a source.

Safety coordination – falls prevention program tools

Accurate and concurrent reporting tools

Facility expectations, staff education and accountability tools

Education tools for patients and families

Fall risk screening tools

Assessment of risk factors tools

Linked interventions tools

Learn from events

Safe environment

Data Submission

Road Map Data Submission and Tool Kit Website

National Center for Patient Safety Falls Toolkit

Requirements of SAFE from FALLS initiative participants:

  • Completion of baseline road map data submission and quarterly updates
  • Implementation of the SAFE from FALLS road map components
  • Share learnings with others through conference calls, listserv and other sharing opportunities