Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Robert McWhirt


Falls and injuries related to falls are some of the most common and costly incidents that occur in the long-term care environment. Purposeful hourly rounding is a proactive way for nursing staff to identify patient needs and demonstrate positive fall prevention outcomes. This project examined a process improvement endeavor of a long-term care unit that experienced an increase in the number of falls over 3 months. The purpose was to evaluate whether staff education and implementation of an evidence-based hourly rounding program would affect the number of patient falls. The Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based conceptual model, Kurt Lewin's change model, and the Shewhart cycle process improvement model were used to implement the change process as well as the Studer Group best practice hourly rounding tools. A sample of 40 residents was included in a quantitative descriptive design describing the implementation of hourly rounding. Staff were educated 30 days prior to implementation. Pre and post project fall rates were retrieved from the VA fall data management system and revealed a 55% decrease over 3 months post staff education. The use of evidence-based hourly rounding measures increased over the same time period. Nurse leaders must ensure rounding programs are evidence-based, clearly defined in policies, and include robust education plans. There are limited studies on the relationship between education and hourly rounding; therefore, future studies should focus on outcomes of initial and ongoing education for program success and sustainability. Falls are a healthcare concern nurses must address at any point-of-care to promote public safety through prevention and to facilitate positive social change by providing a safe hospital environment.

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Nursing Commons