Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Barbara A. Niedz
Falls and related injuries have affected residents in long-term care facilities for many years. It has been well-established that patient fall prevention includes staff education and hourly rounding in addition to adequate risk assessment. These steps, taken together, have the potential to decrease a 52.7% fall rate on the long-term care pilot unit. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to: (a) educate staff on the process of properly performing hourly rounding and (b) and achieve a decreased incidence of falls from the current fall rate. Thus, the practice-focused question for the project addressed whether rounding hourly on patients in a long-term care facility would decrease the numbers of falls and related injuries. The conceptual framework used for this evidence-based project was the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's rapid cycle improvement. A sample size of 40 residents' fall rates were compared for a 6-week period before the intervention of hourly rounding to the fall rates after 6 weeks of full implementation of the rounding process. A Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test (z = -4.169, p < .001) showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in staff knowledge when mean pretest scores (75.9%) were compared to posttest scores (94.5%). Nursing staff were also evaluated on competencies, and 100% of the staff successfully completed the competency checklist on the first attempt. Post project fall rates revealed a decreased fall rate by 22% over a 6-week period post implementation. Nursing leadership should ensure that staff are continually educated on policies being implemented to ensure an effective outcome. Having hourly rounding as a permanent policy can decrease the patient's fall rate and improve patient safety, a positive social change.