8 Common Elements of Successful Falls Prevention Programs

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority announced a reduction in the rate of patient falls with harm due to a reporting initiative.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and the Health Care Improvement Foundation launched a falls reporting initiative in 2008. The organizations distributed quarterly comparison reports to the 29 participating hospitals from the fourth quarter of 2008 through the third quarter of 2010. Hospitals used the reports to track and measure their progress.


The hospitals that showed the greatest reduction in falls and falls with harm had several common elements in their reporting and prevention programs. These elements include the following:

1.    Establishment of a multidisciplinary team focused on falls.
2.    Review and analysis of falls data.
3.    Performance of falls risk assessment on admission and reassessment at prescribed intervals.
4.    Use of visual cues to communicate falls risk.
5.    Use of bed-exit alarms.
6.    Implementation of one-to-one observation or sitters.
7.    Enforcement of patient rounding.
8.    Promotion of patient education.

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