The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year. Half of the elderly people, who fall, do so repeatedly. Aside from the health problems related to falls, nearly $20 billion of direct medical costs are associated with fatal and non-fatal falls (Larson & Bergmann, 2008).
Most hospitalized patients of 65 years and above have been established to be more vulnerable to falling within their homes or in a facility. These falls have been attributed to various causative agents that need to be assessed and managed in an attempt to completely avert falls (Wilbert, 2010). Prevention of falls should be mandatory since they cause more danger to patients, including breakage of the main bones and even death. As a result, the patient may develop a more serious condition such as decrease functional immobility in addition to that which caused hospitalization. Most of these falls have been found to be caused by therapeutic impacts and ignored diagnostic information (Naqvi, Lee & Fields, 2009). For instance, a great number of elderly people who are hospitalized are diagnosed with dementia at the time of admission; hence, such information needs to be taken into consideration during the care of such a patient. Dementia is likely to cause disorientation and confusion which may result in recurrent falls. Therefore, falls may be described as the abrupt and unintended loss of uprightness that leads to body displacement towards the ground falls (Wilbert, 2010). The purpose of this paper is to develop a falls prevention, management program that will reduce the number of falls occurring within an organization.
In USA, one in three adults over age 65 suffer fall while 20% to 30% experience moderate to severe injuries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). In 2010, the cost of falls among elderly people for US health care system was over $30 billion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Over the last few decades the rate of fall related deaths in USA has sharply been escalating. Many older adults have developed the fear of falling, limiting their social activity and forcing them to live in fear. Some adults suffer lacerations, fracture and trauma during fall, deteriorating their quality of life.
At the center of a successful falls prevention program is an organizational culture that values safety for both patients and associates. Creating a culture of safety is one of the key interventions that reduce harm for patients in a heath care setting (Quigley & White, 2013). If a health care organization fails to protect patients from harm, there are both legal and financial implications. In the effort to prevent harm to patients and hospital acquired injuries, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced pay-for-performance and the value-based purchasing program in 2008. These non-payment programs, withhold payments to organizations that report hospital acquired injuries such as falls (Rheaume & Fruh, 2015). A reduction is reimbursements leaves a health care organization vulnerable to financial instability. A lack of financial resources can lead to staffing reductions and lack of investment in patient safety interventions; both have been shown to lead to poor patient outcomes (Trepanier & Hilsenbeck, 2014).
“In the United Sates, unintentional falls are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries for people older than 65 years (Hughes, 2008).” This illustrates a problem that requires addressing. “Rates of falls vary across hospitals and units however, the highest rates are found in neuroscience (6.12-8.83/1000 patient days) and medical (3.48-6.12 falls/1000 patient days) units” (Mion, 2014). Older adults are usually those most affected and their falls are
I interviewed James Alviar RN, the Coordinator of Risk Management at my current place of employment the Queen's Medical Center West Oahu. I asked him if there were any current risk management issues at our facility that we could discuss, but he said all current issues were confidential and he could not divulge any information to me. Instead, James pointed me in the generic direction of hospital falls that is a nationwide risk management issue and also pertains to us at Queens Medical Center. This paper will be discussing risk management's role, what falls are, how falls are addressed, how risk
Falls are highly common amongst the elderly, particularly those who lack mobility, are in hospital, or are living in a nursing home. When an elderly person falls, their activities of daily living may be impacted due to injuries sustained from the fall. It is essential that precautions are put in place to prevent falls in all settings. This essay will discuss the statistics surrounding falls, prevention strategies, and the impacts of a fall on a patient’s ability to complete activities of daily living.
Falls in an acute care setting lead the list of injury related deaths and deaths in the elderly. “A fall is defined as any event which patients are found on the floor (observed or unobserved) or an unplanned lowering of the patient to the floor by staff or visitors” (Kalisch, Tschannen, and Lee, 2012, p. 6). Medicare and Medicaid changes in 2008 list falls as one of the 10 hospital acquired conditions for which hospitals will no longer be reimbursed because falls are considered preventable conditions. Joint Commission accredited hospitals are required to assess for falls risk and implement falls prevention measures.
There are a few pressing health problems that Yolo county faces. One of them in particular are seniors who falls at home only to be hospitalized and discharged without any means of prevention for another fall. The article, “Top Yolo concerns: Seniors’ falls, kids’ dental decay, mental health” by Anne Ternus-Bellamy indicates that two thirds of of patients hospitalized for falls in Yolo County are over the age of 65. The false that were noted were considered to be preventable through the means of addressing home safety, visual impairment, and medication. It does not cost much at all to initiate the prevention sequence compared to actually treating falls. If Yolo county continues to not inform individuals the means of prevention in terms of falling, then there is going to be a steady cost of “treatment of falls” in Yolo county which could be minimized at a substantial rate.
According to the Joint Commission Resources-JCR (2005), there is no universally accepted definition of a fall. Thus several definitions have been floated over time in an attempt to define the same. One such definition of a fall is "an untoward event that results in the patient or resident coming to rest unintentionally on the ground or another lower surface" (Joint Commission Resources, 2005). Falls are regarded common causes of injury at every age. However, it is important to note that for seniors, falls can have serious consequences. This is more so the case given that a fall can bring about pain, trauma, or even death. With that in mind, the primary purpose of this program remains the reduction of falls and hence the aversion of related injuries amongst the concerned patients. Of key importance remains the identification of patients who appear to be at high risk of falling. This way, appropriate strategies can be developed to reduce the injuries related to inpatient falls.
Falls in the elderly is a significant health problem, which can lead to severe issues such as morbidity and mortality. The topic of falls within the elderly was chosen so that the many interventions, risks, and awareness strategies can be further explored within this paper. Throughout clinical practice I was intrigued by the number of patients that have fallen and the strategies that health care organizations take to prevent falls. However, I was concerned by the lack of awareness in the community related to falls in the elderly. The topic of falls in the elderly is multifactor in the sense that there are many intersectional factors that can result in falls. The significant impact of falls in the elderly and the consequences that falls have
The paper will discuss falls prevention in the older adult over the age of 55 and new and alternative interventions for fall prevention compared to current practice. The desired outcome of the paper is to provide information for fall prevention and, therefore, decrease the occurrence of falls. First, in order to understand the importance falls have within the clinical setting, statistics showing the mortality, morbidity and financial impact should be understood. The occurrence of falls within the acute care setting is a growing problem among the elderly. The evidence shows that one in three people aged 65 or older will sustain a fall and that only half will report the fall to a caregiver (CDC, 2014). The number increases to one in two when the patient reaches the age of 80. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines a fall when a person unintentionally comes to rest on the ground or another lower level. Falls are not an inevitable part of aging, however, aging does influence such things as reduced mobility, comorbidities, and cognitive impairment which contribute to fall risk. Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the acute care setting. The injuries sustained from falls leads to increased hospital stay time and a chance for further injuries which may harm the patient (CDC, 2014). According to the CDC in 2013, 2.5 million people suffered a fall, of these falls 734,000 were hospitalized. The falls also resulted in 22,900 people dying from fall
The problem and explanation: The hospital I am employed at is currently having an issues with patient falls. The hospital is a “no restraint facility” and strongly discourages the use of any form of restraint including leather, soft, posey vests, or chemical. Currently the line of defense is using staff sitters, moving the patient to a visible room when available and or family members are encouraged to come and stay with their loved ones who are at high risk of falls. This does not always rectify the issues secondary to staffing issues and family participation.