PATIENT SAFETY: Assess for fall risk, intervene—and bump up patient safety
Susan Erin Gustafson RN, CRRN, BSN

December 2007 
Volume 37  Number 12
Pages 24 - 25
  PDF Version Available!


Gustafson, Susan Erin RN, CRRN, BSN

Susan Erin Gustafson is a charge nurse in an inpatient rehabilitation unit at West Penn Hospital, Forbes Campus, in Monroeville, Pa.

REDUCING THE RISK of patient harm resulting from falls is a National Patient Safety Goal of The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO). 1 To meet this goal, your facility should implement a fall reduction program, which includes evaluating patients for risk of falls, taking action to reduce the risk, and reducing the risk of injury should a fall occur. Your facility must also periodically evaluate the effectiveness of its fall reduction program.

In this article, I'll tell you how to perform a fall risk assessment and what interventions to use for adult patients at risk for falls. But first, let's consider the impact of falls.

Facts about falls

In 1 year, almost 14,000 people age 65 and older died from injuries related to falls, and nearly 1.8 million ...

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