Falls are one of the most common patient safety incidents in organisational care but also in a patient's own home.
Falls can lead to injury including fractures and head injuries, impaired confidence, anxiety and poor rehabilitation, and are a frequent factor in patients needing long-term care. However, there is evidence that the risk of falling in hospital can be reduced and that these often simple interventions are commonly omitted.
Care bundles are a commonly used intervention to reduce the incidence of multi-factorial events which cause harm such as falls. A project using a care bundle to prevent falls, has been funded by the Health Foundation. The interventions are found to be effective and acceptable across a range of organisations in the UK.
The Patient Safety First campaign's guide to reducing falls recommends strategies that should be implemented at an organisational and leadership level to improve an organisations' performance in reducing falls. It includes a detailed toolkit for introducing interventions and improvement reports and case studies.
Identifying patients at risk
A focus on identification of patients at the highest risk of adverse consequences from a fall and targeted prevention is an important approach to improving safety. Drawn from a range of institutions involved in falls prevention, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement's guide to reducing patient injuries from falls describes six strategic aims to reduce both the incidence and consequences of falls. It provides a detailed guide to implementing changes to meet these aims and a wide range of tools and resources currently in use in other organisations.