Joint Commission Offers Resource to Prevent Hospital Falls


The Joint Commission’s Center for Transforming Healthcare has released its Targeted Solutions Tool for preventing hospital inpatient falls and falls with injuries. This step-by-step, online resource helps hospitals measure their fall rates and identify barriers to fall prevention and the specific contributing factors that lead to falls. A systematic approach enables the organization to assess each patient’s risk for falling and then implement specific targeted solutions to address the contributing factors, which will vary from one organization to the next.

Hospital falls total between 700,000 and one million per year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; since 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has not paid hospitals for the costs of extra care related to falls.

The Joint Commission calculates, based on average baseline and improvement figures from its Preventing Falls with Injury Project, that a typical 200-bed hospital could reduce its number of patients injured by falls annually from 117 to 45. Key elements of a program achieving that kind of success include consistent messaging focused on operational and cultural change, staff engagement, and an “all hands on deck” approach that involves hospitalists and other physicians in helping to prevent falls by hospitalized patients.

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