Developing a Multifaceted Fall Prevention Strategy in the Emergency Department

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Waszczeniuk, Courtney
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Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing , Quality Improvement , Accidental Falls , Emergency Service, Hospital , Patient Safety
Abstract Despite systemwide efforts to reduce patient falls, this problem continues to be a significant patient safety concern in the emergency department. The ED is a high acuity, fast-paced, crowded and unpredictable environment making fall prevention a challenging task (Stoeckle, 2019). This unique healthcare environment requires interventions tailored to meet the specific needs of an ED (Townsend, 2016). The goal of this quality improvement project was to determine if a multifactorial fall prevention program tailored to the unique emergency department environment will decrease the total number of adult patient falls. The primary outcome of this quality improvement project was to reduce the total number of patient falls. After performing retrospective root cause analysis and data review, a multifaceted fall prevention strategy was created and implemented in a large, tertiary emergency department. Initial results did not reveal an overall decrease in the total number of falls or fall rate in the emergency department. However, vital information was gained about significant barriers and gaps to fall prevention. This has been a catalyst to unit and system wide changes in fall prevention measures. Keywords: falls, prevention, risk, emergency department, quality improvement