Fall prevention strategy in an emergency department

May 20, 2017


Published in: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to document the need for implementing a fall prevention strategy in an emergency department (ED). The paper also spells out the research process that led to approving an assessment tool for use in hospital outpatient services. Design/methodology/approach – The fall risk assessment tool was based on the Morse Fall Scale. Gender mix and age above 65 and 80 years were assessed on six risk assessment variables using χ2 analyses. A logistic regression analysis and model were used to test predictor strength and relationships among variables. Findings – In total, 5,371 (56.5 percent) geriatric outpatients were deemed to be at fall risk during the study.Women have a higher falls incidence in young and old age categories. Being on medications for patients above 80 years exposed both genders to equal fall risks. Regression analysis explained 73-98 percent of the variance in the six-variable tool. Originality/value – Canadian quality and safe healthcare accreditation standards require that hospital staff develop and adhere to fall prevention policies. Anticipated physiological falls can be prevented by healthcare interventions, particularly with older people known to bear higher risk factors. An aging population is increasing healthcare volumes and medical challenges. Precautionary measures for patients with a vulnerable cognitive and physical status are essential for quality care.

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