Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Falls among hospitalized elderly patients are a safety concern for health care organizations and the patients they serve, but falls can be prevented through the team effort of nurses and other health care professions to promote safety within the organization. The project site was experiencing an increase in the number of patients falls and identified the need for staff education related to assessment and intervention to prevent patient falls in the elderly population. Thus, the practice-focused question for this project was whether an educational program on evidence-based fall prevention strategies using the American Medical Directors Association clinical guidelines would improve staff nurse ability to assess fall risk and apply intervention strategies for elderly patients in an acute care setting compared to standard practice. Lewin's change theory was used as the theoretical foundation for this project. A total of 29 cardiac unit staff nurses who participated in the educational program were provided information on recognizing risk factors for falls, conducting an accurate fall risk assessment using the Morse Fall Scale, and developing individualized care plan for managing fall risk. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2E Fall Knowledge Test was used in a pre- and posttest design to assess the efficacy of the educational program. The results showed a statistically significant increase (p < 0.001) in staff members' knowledge in recognizing, assessing, and managing falls. This project can improve nurse's knowledge with evidence-based recommendations in practice, which promotes positive social change through improved staff competency that may result in decreased patient falls and adverse patient outcomes.