Fall Incidents Hospital Quality Indicator. Search the best hospital.

A Fall Incident is as an occurrence of a patient falling on the ground, floor, or other lower level surfaces at a hospital. In medical terms, it is defined as the loss of upright position that results in landing on the ground, floor, or an object. 

Formula to calculate the Fall Incident Rate = (Number of patient falls / Number of patients per day) * 100

Cause of Fall Incidents 

Some of the most common factors contributing to falls at healthcare centers include:-

  • Inadequate assessment of the floor plan
  • Lack of proper communication between patients and staff
  • Non-adherence to the safety protocols and practices
  • Inadequate staff orientation, hiring and training, etc.
  • Deficiencies in the hospital environment
  • Lack of proper cautionary measures while cleaning the floor (proper signage)

What are hospitals doing to prevent fall incidents?

Healthcare providers along with medical staff are implementing stringent precautions and practices to ensure optimum safety of their patients. Some of the fundamental precautions taken are:-

  • Multidisciplinary responsibilities appointed to all medical staff (not just nurses) to ensure a safe hospital environment.
  • Healthcare centers educating staff as well as patients about the necessary preventive measures to mitigate the chances of fall.
  • Healthcare providers offering a customized plan for each patient that caters to various needs, risk factors, and preferences.
  • Medical staff ensuring that the patients are wearing appropriate and safe footwear.
  • Healthcare centers emphasizing on identification, treatment, and prevention of cases like delirium, dizzy spells, postural hypotension, etc.that can cause fall.
  • Medical staff reviewing and discontinuing medications that increase fall risks (if needed).
  • Hospitals offering continence management that includes assisting patients frequently during washroom breaks, when using mobility aids, or while exercising as recommended by physiotherapists.
  • Medical practitioners thoroughly reviewing the patient's condition post the fall, to offer secondary prevention plan.
  • Providing patients with adequate information on how to prevent falls at home, post their discharge

What patients and relatives can do to prevent falls?

Following are some basic steps that patients and their relatives can take to avoid falling :-

  • Patients should call the nurse when they require assistance to move out of bed.
  • If the patient is unsteady, ensure a medical staff or family relative is present inside the bathroom as well.
  • If prescribed medicine is causing the patient to use the washroom more frequently, ask medical staff for a bedpan, commode, or mobile urinal.
  • Some medicines may result in sleepiness or dizziness. Patients in this case must take adequate time to get out of their bed. Moreover, before getting up, the patient must sit on the edge of the bed for a couple of seconds to drown the dizziness, and call for a nurse if needed.
  • Patients must ensure to wear non-slippery footwear.
  • For support, patients can use walkers or canes. They must not rely on the bedside table, IV pole, furniture, etc. to steady themselves.
  • Patients must ensure that the call light, mobile phones, and other personal items are placed within reach.
  • Patients/Relatives must immediately direct all safety-related questions to the concerned medical staff.

Addressing Fall Incidents : A Must For All Hospitals

Falls that occur within the hospital is a widespread and serious threat to a patient’s safety and health. Accidental falls are among the most common incidents occurring at healthcare centers that impact approximately 2% of hospital patients. Adequate precautions must be implemented and strictly adhered by all the staff at the healthcare center to mitigate the possibilities of accidental falls and ensure maximum safety of the patients.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

More Resources