Patient Safety: Hospital Inpatient Falls

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If patient safety is the most important issue in Health Care facilities then how come hospital inpatient falls continue to be the most reported of all accidental falls (Tzeng & Yin, 2009)? Throughout the years, hospitals continue to make changes to decrease the risk of accidents and increase the quality of patient safety. With research studies and improvements made, patient falls still hold the largest portion of reported incidents in hospitals (Tzeng, & Yin, 2008). According to Tzeng & Yin (2008), “fall prevention programs apparently do not effectively reduce inpatient fall rates because of human factors and ergonomics in a hospital environment (p.179, para. 2). The two studies reviewed in this paper were performed with the hopes of decreasing the high fall rate among inpatients.

In a qualitative study “Nurse’s Solutions to Prevent Inpatient Falls in Hospital Patient Rooms,” Huey-Ming Tzeng and Chang-Yi Yin’s purpose was to promote understanding of and to prevent inpatient falls. The research took place between February and April of 2007 in one acute, adult unit consisting of 32 beds in a Michigan medical center. The basis was on individual participation in a 45 to 60 minute long interview with nine current nursing staff and their opinions on five primary root causes of inpatient falls. Twenty-four potential solutions identified from the nurse’s interviews and the intervention strategies toward preventing patient falls were used to elicit and analyze data for useful and cost-effective fall-prevention strategies (Tzeng, & Yin, 2008).

Huey-Ming Tzeng and Chang-Yi Yin also did an exploratory study “Relatioinship between call light use and response time and inpatient falls in acute care settings,” to determine whether t...

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... and Yin have done different studies to find ways of reducing the high fall rate in health care facilities. The study on the call light response time didn’t seem to impact the patient fall rate; however, this was only one study in one health care facility. I believe that including nurses in fall prevention programs only makes sense. Falls will always be a risk in health care facilities but the input for preventing them should also come from the people who spend the most time with the patients. Nurse’s are the one’s who assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate their patients’ needs. Their knowledge and opinions are important.

Work Cited

Huey-Ming Tzeng, PhD, RN, Chang-Yi Yin, Nurses' Solutions to Prevent Inpatient Falls in Hospital Patient Rooms. Nurs Econ. 2008;26(3):179-187. View at:
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