Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Falls with or without injuries among the elderly have become a public health concern, with falls among adults age 65 years and older increasing every year. Nurses play a role in ensuring patient safety by following fall prevention guidelines. The purpose of this evidence-based study was to implement the RE-AIM evaluation tool to determine the impact of the Safe Five program on staff compliance with the program; patients' awareness of the need for falls prevention; and falls among older adults, ages 65 years and older, admitted to an acute care nursing unit. The literature supports implementing a falls prevention program with multifactorial and interdisciplinary components, and an evaluation plan to help decrease falls in acute care settings. The Safe Five falls prevention program was implemented on the acute care nursing unit in an effort to decrease the inpatient falls rate on the unit. The inpatient falls data were collected retrospectively, 2 years pre implementation of the Safe Five program, and 8 to 10 months post implementation. Data were collected from the Safe Five checklists, recorded inpatient fall rates, and high fall risk chart audits provided by staff and nurse manager; they were then analyzed using the RE-AIM evaluation tool. The long-term effects of the Safe Five program include an 18% increase in patients' awareness of the importance of preventing falls, an 18% increase in staff compliance with the program, and a 14% decrease in inpatient fall rate on the unit. It is projected that the decrease in inpatient falls will result in decreased healthcare costs and improved patient satisfaction with the healthcare system, communication among the interdisciplinary team, and health outcomes for the patients.