Patient Falls in the Acute Care Hospital Setting as Perceived by the Frontline Staff
Patient falls and related injuries are traumatic life experiences, for patients, family members, and institutions that provide health care. Falls in acute care hospitals are a significant nursing clinical problem with legal implications and regulatory consequences. The purpose of this study was to identify perceptions of frontline staff regarding the factors associated with patient falls in acute care hospital settings. A survey of 20 items, using a Likert-type scale consisting of intrinsic and extrinsic factor statements, and 1 openended question were used in this study. The results were found using descriptive statistics. The top 4 intrinsic factors contributing to falls as agreed by the participants in order of mean were confusion, unsteady gait, history of falls, and taking multiple medications. The top 3 extrinsic contributing fall risk factors were identified as lack of supervision, lack of teamwork, and inadequate staff education. In conclusion, the safety of patients who are confused, have unsteady gait, have fallen before, or on multiple medications need to be supervised using a team approach, with staff who are trained in caring for fall risk patients. Maslow and Orlando’s theories were used to guide the study.