Abstract WP354: Hospitalized Stroke Patient Falls Rates Reduced by 50% after Stroke Survivor Focus Group
Stroke survivors are well known to fall both in the hospital and in the community settings. Fall prevention literature recommends the use of a variety of interventions, or fall ’bundles’, to reduce hospitalized patient falls. The organization’s stroke collaborative practice team (SCPT) began monitoring hospitalized stroke patient fall rates in 2010. Even when the hospital’s organizational rates dropped, stroke patient fall rates did not. It was noted that there were no bundle strategies specifically targeting the array of disabilities that can be caused from a stroke, nor what is it clear what they should be. Thus, a falls focus group was conducted with the hospital’s stroke survivor and caregiver support group in 2011. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss their experiences with falls, review fall prevention strategies from our organization, and see if they had any suggestions that may prevent hospitalized stroke patients from falling. Over 20 stroke survivors and caregivers attended a videotaped meeting. All stroke survivors, and several caregivers, indicated with a show of hands, that they fell at home and/or while in the hospital. A robust discussion followed where many verbalized that as a result of their deficits, such as impulsivity, memory changes or aphasia, their felt our current fall bundle would not prevent a stroke patient from falling. They felt having someone in the room was a best practice and if no one could be in the room, they recommended using bed alarms. Based on their feedback, the SCPT created a new practice so all stroke patients would be placed on a bed alarm on admission. This allows everyone time to adjust to limitations cause by any new disabilities. Inpatient rehabilitation also added low beds. Data collected January to June 2011 showed on average 2 stroke patients fell each month. The new practices were implemented over the next several months. Data from November 2011- June 2012 showed fall rates dropped to approximately 1 a month, or a 50% reduction in hospitalized stroke patient falls. The value of the patient and family experience can be a powerful tool in improving performance and outcomes. Incorporating their feedback on fall prevention strategies in our organization has helped reduce hospitalized stroke patient falls.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.