Weekly research highlight 23/3

This weeks research highlight focusses on preventing falls in the hospital and emergency departments.

Sitters as a Patient Safety Strategy to Reduce Hospital Falls

In-hospital falls are an increasing problem and different strategies to highlight people at risk of falling and preventing those falls have been developed. One strategy is to use sitters (Nurses or other personnel) to monitor patient behaviour via observation to prevent falls. Other less time intensive strategies such as video monitoring and placing higher risk patients together, closer to the nurse station have also been adopted. Greeley et al. examined the effectiveness of both these strategies through  a systematic review. They found scant evidence that sitters as part of usual care helps reduce falls and that there are effective alternatives such as video monitoring. The authors noted the low quantity and quality of evidence in this area of study.

Sitters as a Patient Safety Strategy to Reduce Hospital Falls: A Systematic Review
Greeley AM, Tanner EP, Mak S, Begashaw MM, Miake-Lye IM, Shekelle PG
Annals of Internal Medicine. 2020 [epub].

Tailoring a Comprehensive Bundled Intervention for ED Fall Prevention

Falls in the emergency department often result in further hospitalisation and poor patient outcomes. Strategies need to be quick and simple to be successfully implemented. Pop et al. aimed to develop a tailored bundled intervention to prevent falls by Focussing on the areas of risk assessment, safe ambulation, safe toileting, staff communication, patient education and early waning. Using this approach they were able to successfully improve the screening of patients arriving at the emergency department and apply appropriate falls risk precatutions.

Tailoring a comprehensive bundled intervention for ED fall prevention
Pop H, Lamb K, Livesay S, Altman P, Sanchez A, Nora ME. J. Emerg. Nurs. 2020; 46(2): 225-232.e3.