Fall Prevention in the Acute Care Setting
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Using transformational leadership skills, a nurse leader can guide a multidisciplinary team to develop and implement strategies to effectively assess fall risks and implement interventions to reduce the number of patient falls in hospitals. Patient falls have a huge impact, both financially and personally. The leading cause of harm in a hospitalized patient is due to falling (Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, 2008). Injuries from falls often prolong, complicate, and increase the cost of hospitalization challenging facilities to implement successful fall prevention strategies. Hospitals are no longer reimbursed for costs due to preventable fall related injuries and must make efforts to reduce these. Decreasing the incidence of falls is not an easy task for hospitals. Nursing is critical in the identification of patients who are at risk for falling and for carrying out interventions that help keep patients safe. A fall prevention team can be instrumental in evaluating complex and multifaceted clinical and organizational processes related to the identification and care for patients at risk for falling. This paper explores the need for reducing patient falls and the nurse leader's role in developing and leading an effective fall prevention team.