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Authors

  1. Spetz, Joanne PhD, FAAN
  2. Brown, Diane S. PhD, RN, CPHQ, FNAHQ, FAAN
  3. Aydin, Carolyn PhD

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the cost savings associated with implementing nursing approaches to prevent in-hospital falls.

 

BACKGROUND: Hospital rating programs often report fall rates, and performance-based payment systems force hospitals to bear the costs of treating patients after falls. Some interventions have been demonstrated as effective for falls prevention.

 

METHODS: Costs of falls-prevention programs, financial savings associated with in-hospital falls reduction, and achievable fall rate improvement are measured using published literature. Net costs are calculated for implementing a falls-prevention program as compared with not making improvements in patient fall rates.

 

RESULTS: Falls-prevention programs can reduce the cost of treatment, but in many scenarios, the costs of falls-prevention programs were greater than potential cost savings.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Falls-prevention programs need to be carefully targeted to patients at greatest risk in order to achieve cost savings.