The risk of patient falls continues to be a major source of concern for physicians and clinicians. Determining the level of risk requires the analysis of information from various sources, including the physical environment of the practice or facility, the patient's medical history (as well as their current status and their medications), and potential fall risks in their home setting. And because falls can occur unexpectedly, assessing the risk of falls ahead of time and preemptively making adjustments to avoid them is a fundamental part of assuring safe care.
Why is this important?
Patient falls are an important patient safety issue. From 2016-2019, according to The Joint Commission, falls were among the most frequently reported sentinel events. Hospitals have been identified as a main location of risk, but other facilities should be vigilant as well. One study showed that approximately half of all residents in nursing facilities had experienced a fall, and many experience multiple falls.
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