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Accurate falls risk assessment and interventions for preventing falls in patients in the acute care setting within a private hospital in a large capital city: a best practice implementation project

Accurate falls risk assessment and interventions for preventing falls in patients in the acute care setting within a private hospital in a large capital city: a best practice implementation project

Jbi Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports 13(9): 386-406

Patient falls are a leading cause of adverse events in Australian hospitals. Most Australian hospitals have fall prevention policies, procedures and programs for preventing inpatient falls; however despite these resources many preventable falls continue to occur in Australian hospitals.It is imperative that clinicians understand the potential impact of inpatient falls, and what triggers can be identified and managed by a multifactorial team approach. Patients admitted to hospital often experience changes in physical and/or cognitive function which is then exacerbated by an unfamiliar environment and medical interventions. Adverse outcomes post falling can range from minor injuries such as skin tears to significant injuries such as intracranial hemorrhages and fractures which can ultimately result in permanent disability or death.In 2007, Calvary Wakefield Hospital implemented a Falls Minimization Program requiring routine assessment of all patients admitted using an Admission Risk Screening Tool in conjunction with completion of a detailed Falls Risk Assessment Tool when indicated. The aim of this implementation was to review current nursing practice against compliance with the Falls Minimization Program and also identify areas for improvement with a focus on preventative strategies. It was essential that the project and its outcomes also complement the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (standard 10 - Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls) that provide a benchmark for Calvary Wakefield Hospital. This was achieved by completing a baseline audit, implementing a corrective action plan post audit and then re-auditing in three months once strategies had been implemented This project used the pre- and post-implementation audit strategy made up of eight criteria using the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System and Getting Research into Practice. The audit, review, implementation and re-audit sequence was the strategy used to improve clinical practice, and the project was conducted over a five-month period, with the addition of a third audit cycle six months post completion of the implementation phase.Results were generated using the JBI-PACES module and were scrutinized by the project lead in conjunction with members of the project team. Results were discussed with key clinicians throughout the duration of the project. Baseline audit results provided the foundation for generating change and this data was then compared with the first follow-up audit to identify improvements in compliance with criteria. Again this data was compared with audits from six months post implementation to identify sustainability of the project. The results from the baseline audit highlighted that there was significant opportunity for improvement in all criteria audited. It was pleasing to report that in the first follow-up audit cycle, nearly all criteria showed an improvement in both medical and surgical fields. The greatest areas of improvement pertained to healthcare professionals receiving formal education (improvement of 46%), and patient and family education improved by 43%. To measure sustainability, a second follow-up audit was conducted using the same criteria and identified that strategies implemented had in fact been maintained, and the results were consistent with those from the first follow-up audit. The project used the pre- and post-audit strategy to translate evidence into practice, and not only demonstrated that implementation of evidence-based practice is possible in the acute setting but also showed improvement in the prevention of falls and harm from falls in that setting.

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Accession: 057122396

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PMID: 26470676

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