Fall Prevention Initiative: The Role of Patient Engagement in Fall Prevention

Fall Prevention Initiative: The Role of Patient Engagement in Fall Prevention


Name: Victoria Aladeokin

Rank: 2LT

Presenter/Poster: Both

Year: 2018


Objective: The objective of this project was to review the literature for evidence-based methods to prevent falls in hospitalized patients and to select a prevention method to implement on the Medical-Surgical and Postpartum inpatient units at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC).

Background: Falls are associated with increased use of health care resources and higher rates of discharge to institutional care. Additionally, between 3 and 5 falls occur per 1000 bed-days, which represent approximately a million inpatient falls in the United States each year. Literature shows that patients often perceive themselves as low risk for falls despite a high risk nurse rating. Literature suggests that increasing awareness of fall risk by informing and educating patients can decrease falls.

Method: The Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice guided this project. The literature search revealed that patient engagement, awareness, and education had a significant impact on fall rates in hospitals. This discovery prompted development of a patient survey to determine the current level of patient awareness and education for patients admitted to the Medical-Surgical and Post-Partum units.

Findings: A total of 32 patients were surveyed between both the Medical-Surgical and Post-Partum units. The results of the surveys showed only 6.06% of patients knew their fall risk category (whether they were low, moderate, or high risk) and only 18.18% of patients knew that a falls risk assessment had been conducted on them. These findings demonstrated an opportunity to improve patient engagement with fall prevention by increasing the awareness and education of hospitalized patients at LRMC.

Implications: Military nurses should consider that few patients are aware of their assessed fall risk, yet patients play a key role in fall prevention. Nurses have an opportunity to partner with patients and employ several educational approaches aimed to increase awareness and engagement. Written, video-based material and one-on-one discussion can be utilized as an educational approach for patient engagement in falls prevention.