QCOR: Patient Education Linked to Reduction in Fall Rate

Cardiovascular hospital patients may fall less after patient and family education intervention

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patient and family education may be helpful in reducing falls in cardiovascular hospital patients, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke 2011 Scientific Sessions, held from May 12 to 14 in Washington, D.C.

Heather Campbell, R.N., from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues investigated ways to decrease the number of patient falls in the cardiovascular progressive care unit (CVPCU). A review of literature identified fall prevention strategies, and these strategies were compared to current practice on the CVPCU. Unit staff conducted event reviews of patient falls. Following this, an informative pamphlet and poster were created, and education was provided to patients upon admission, and reviewed daily.

The investigators found that there was a lack of formal education for patients and families on fall risk. After the creation of the pamphlet and education intervention, the average fall rate decreased from 12.73 per 1,000 patient days for the two months prior to the intervention to 4.59 per 1,000 patient days for the two months after implementation.

"A structured fall prevention education program that includes patients and families was associated with a 64 percent reduction in fall rate in a cardiovascular inpatient unit," the authors write.

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