Preventing Falls in Acute Care Setting. FallSaver: A New Solution to an Old Problem
Gibson, Maryika I.
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Patient falls and fall rates are among the ten nursing-sensitive quality indicators and a high priority for nursing administrators, nurses, patients and their families due to issues related to average cost per single fall, reimbursement for treatments, prolonged hospitalization, increased morbidity and mortality, litigation settlements, as well as physical, psychological stress and reduction in overall quality of life for patients. While current nursing literature offers only few examples of comprehensive fall prevention programs, the Joint Commission mandates acute care hospitals to develop and maintain effective multidisciplinary programs with well documented results in fall rate reduction. Together with poor methodology, lack of research rigor, and multiplicity of ineffective risk assessment tools, the lack of unified operational definition of falls in the literature contributes to confusion in the interpretation of data and outcome variables in the currently available studies. Technological innovations, such as the FallSaver System (a wireless, discrete, non-restraint device), will assist nurses in the development of comprehensive and evidence-based multi-component fall prevention programs. Increased awareness, development and testing of assessment tools appropriate for acute care, partnership between all stakeholders involved in patient care, will create a safe environment of high quality, cost-effective and efficient patient care, as well as assure the economic sustainability of the individual health care organization.