Falls Prevention

Fall prevention safety bundle: Collaboration leads to fewer falls

At St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center in Syracuse, NY, we’re committed to providing a safe, comfortable, caring environment for our patients. We believe all patients deserve to be cared for in the most humane way possible to preserve their dignity and individual rights. This means ensuring our patients’ physical safety, including preventing injuries from falls, during a hospital stay.

Central to our fall prevention program is the hospital’s patient safety care bundle. We found that bundling (standardizing) fall prevention practices prevents more falls than nonbundling or variable approaches. We also learned that involving all unit and house-wide staff in this approach inspires greater buy-in and participation and fosters best practices.

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Gait belts 101: A tool for patient and nurse safety

Author: Wendy Wintersgill, MSN, RN, CRRN, ONC, ACNS-BC

Tips for assessing patient mobility and using gait belts

All nurses want to keep their patients safe, but falls and injuries when moving patients are a common problem. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, patient falls occur at a rate of three to five per 1,000 bed-days, 700,000 to 1 million hospitalized patients fall each year, approximately 50% of the 1.6 million U.S. nursing home residents fall every year, and nearly 10% of Medicare skilled nursing facility residents experience a fall resulting in significant injury. Among RNs, overexertion and bodily reaction (the way that the body responds or reacts to an external influence) were the most prevalent events (45.6% of all cases within the profession) that led to occupational injuries and illnesses, according to a 2016 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

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