Hospital fall prevention kits effective: study

November 4, 2010

The use of a fall prevention toolkit in hospitals may help reduce the number of falls among the elderly, suggests a study from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

According to a study abstract, researchers compared patient fall rates at four urban hospitals where certain units used fall prevention toolkits. These toolkits included completion of fall risk assessment by a nurse and a software program that tailored fall prevention interventions specific to patients' needs. They also included educational handouts and posters near patients' hospital beds.

Study results indicated the units that used the toolkits had a significantly lower fall rate than those that did not. The interventions were most successful for older patients.

"Older adults are more likely to be injured from a fall," study authors wrote. "Because patient falls in hospitals are a major risk factor for fractures and other injuries, reducing falls is an important first step toward injury prevention."

The study was published in Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.