More than one third of adults 65 years or older fall each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hospitals can be risky environments for patient falls due to the unfamiliar surroundings, sedating medications, and altered health states of patients. Proper precautions can reduce the risk of falling and the injury that often accompanies a fall.
The Joint Commission recommends implementation of a fall reduction program as a patient safety goal.
The first step in a fall prevention program is an assessment of the risk to fall for each patient admitted to the hospital. However, the risk to fall can change during a hospital stay due to changes in health status, environment, and medications, and risk must be reevaluated often. Family members may be asked to stay overnight in order to help prevent falls in certain situations.