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Health Matrix. 1987-1988 Winter;5(4):34-9.

A risk/falls program.


Patient falls are a commonplace and costly occurrence in health care settings. Approximately two years ago, the professional nursing staff on an acute care, 28-bed division in Hanna Pavilion began developing a program to address the issue of patients at risk for falling. The need for such a program evolved as the elderly patient population increased in number. The acute psychiatric service showed an increase in patients over 65 years old, from 13 percent in 1983 to 19.8 percent in 1984. An increased number of falls was documented on the division as the numbers of elderly became larger. During 1984, patient falls constituted 42.8 percent of al reported incidents on this division. The critical concerns related to patient falls were, and still are, the potential for injury leading to chronic disability, prolonged hospital stay, need for extended care, and ultimately the catastrophic effects on the quality of life for the population.

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