Falls in an acute care hospital as reported in the adverse event management system

Barbara J. Watson, Alan W. Salmoni, Aleksandra A. Zecevic


Background: The increasing number of falls in hospitals precipitates the need to collect and analyze falls data. Hospital falls data have been captured through staff documentation and incident reporting systems. Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify the variables associated with falls and injurious falls in an acute care hospital over the five years from the implementation of the Adverse Event Management System (AEMS). A secondary purpose was to identify problems associated with the AEMS.
Methods: Falls data recorded in the AEMS system from February 2009 to February 2014 were analyzed to observe trends of falls and contributing factors occurring in various hospital units.
Results: A total of 7,721 falls occurred during the study period. The highest frequency of the falls (901) occurred between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. There were 2,275 falls which resulted in an injury. Both total fall and injurious fall rates were highest in Medicine inpatient units and lowest in Ambulatory outpatient units. The falls rate was 4.5 falls per 1,000 patient days in 2009 and 4.4 falls per 1,000 patient days in 2014. The prevalence of falls varied among nursing unit types and the time of day but the fall rate across the hospital did not change over the five year period.
Conclusions: Continuous evaluation of falls data and improved staff education is recommended to help reduce falls in acute care hospitals. A province-wide database registry should be considered for future research on incident reporting.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v4n4p84


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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