Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Journal (Apr 2021)

Introducing an Evidence-Based Protocol to Reduce and Prevent Fall Events among Elderly Hospice Patients

  • Lydia Chowa

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 2
pp. 109 – 119


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Introduction: To examine the effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention to reduce falls for elderly hospice patients who live at home and in skilled nursing facilities. Materials and Methods: This pre--post intervention study was conducted in a local agency of a healthcare organization for hospice patients in California. The study included 51 hospice patients who did not object to the intervention at the local agency. The multifactorial intervention consisted of four components: (1) fall risk assessment, (2) post-fall huddle session, (3) universal fall precautions education, and (4) the 5 Ps to reduce falls for elderly hospice patients. The primary outcome was the fall rates (falls per 1,000 occupied bed days). Other outcomes included patient fall risk scores, post-fall huddle compliance, and compliance of universal fall precautions and the 5 Ps. Results: The multifactorial intervention reduced the fall rates for hospice patients from 6.9 in 2017 (baseline period) to 1.7 in 2019 (implementation period) per 1,000 occupied bed days. There was 100% compliance with fall risk assessment, post-fall huddle administration, universal fall prevention documentation, 5 Ps education, and care plan initiation and modification. Conclusion: The finding of this study indicated a significantly positive effect of a nurse-led multifactorial intervention on fall prevention of hospice patients cared for at home or at skilled nursing facilities. The intervention was easy to implement, cost effective, and took a very short time to complete, which would allow nursing leadership to initiate such interventions to prioritize fall prevention in every hospice healthcare organization.