Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School

Nursing

Advisor

Janice Long

Abstract

Patient falls are an ongoing concern for health systems in the US and in the setting where this project took place. Inpatient falls affect consumers and health providers because falls often result in patient morbidity and mortality, legal risk, increased length of stay, and increased costs. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the existing fall prevention protocol at the site where this project took place and to make recommendations for an evidenced-based fall prevention protocol. The professional practice model was the conceptual model that guided the exploratory descriptive project. A review of the site's fall prevention policies and procedures revealed a new fall prevention protocol was in place and included bed alarms, and chair alarms to ring on nurses' phones although observation of nurses revealed that there were problems maintaining the protocol the entire day and 66% of patient falls occurred when the bed alarms were not set. The resulting recommendation was for additional education and a bundled approach with nurse education, patient and family education and a fall risk assessment that was easy to use. Nurses were then surveyed before and after education on the current protocol and the Morse Fall Risk (MFRs) to determine their willingness to use the simpler version for fall risk assessment. Before education 18 nurses confirmed they would use the protocol and MFR tool and all 20 agreed to use it after the education session. An implementation of a bundled approach to the fall prevention protocol that nurses incorporate into their daily practice will lead to a positive social change and as a result may increase patient safety by reducing patient falls.