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How can I reduce patients' risk of falls?

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  • Article: Heaton C (2012) Creating a protocol to reduce falls. Nursing Times; 108, 12: 16-18.
  • Author: Christina Heaton is extended scope practitioner, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Wigan.

THIS ARTICLE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT:

  • The current statistics about falls in UK hospitals
  • Major risk factors of falling.
  • How a trust designed and implemented a plan to reduce falls, and the results.

YOU WOULD BE LIKELY TO REFERENCE THIS ARTICLE IF YOU WERE RESEARCHING:

  • Inpatient falls
  • Fall prevention
  • Risk assessment

IN WHAT SITUATIONS WILL THIS ARTICLE BE USEFUL TO ME?

Preventing falls at home and in hospital is one the High Impact Actions for Nursing andMidwifery. The statistics about inpatient falls in the UK and the discussion of major risk factors are a useful education resource. The risk assessment care plan, used successfully by an acute trust to reduce patient falls, provides additional risks to look for in your patients.

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MENTOR/TUTOR:

  • What can I do to reduce patients’ risk of falls?
  • Why is reducing falls so important?
  • What does a fall rate indicate about the quality of a service?

STUDENT NT DECODER:

  • Risk assessment: risk assessment is the process of looking at a situation in order to determine what risks are present. Risk assessment is done with the purpose of decreasing risk. In the case of reducing inpatient falls, the risk assessment plan determined the risk for each patient based on their history of falling, medications, and other factors.
  • Multifactorial assessment: an assessment of a range of different factors.
  • Modifiable risk factors: risk factors which can be acted on and the risk lessened.
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