Fall Risk Assessment and Prevention Program
According to the National Quality Forum, a fall is a sudden, unintended, uncontrolled downward displacement of a patient’s body to the ground or other object.
- Falls among older adults cost the U.S. health care system more than $23.6B in 2005
- Falls are a serious public health problem among older adults. More than a third of adults age 65 years or older fall each year
- A study of people age 72 and older found that the average health care cost of a fall injury was $19,440
- Of those who fall, 20 to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that reduce mobility and independence, and increase the risk of premature death
The following factors are commonly associated with falls and are often used to determine a patient’s risk of fall
- Older age
- Taking multiple medications
- Has impaired gait
- Need aids to walk
- Cognitive impairment
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth assesses the fall risk of all patients admitted to the hospital and implements evidence-based fall prevention strategies. As at other military treatment facilities, our fall management program uses the Johns Hopkins Fall Risk Assessment Tool for adults and the Humpty Dumpty™ Fall Prevention Tool for children. Patients at increased risk for falling are identified with standard yellow colored wrist bands and yellow star door labels to alert staff of the risk. Patients and family members are informed of the risk and educated on what to do to avoid a fall.