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Electronic Fall Surveillance System Model

Falen, Thomas MA, RHIA, LHRM; Unruh, Lynn PhD, RN, LHRM; Segal, David PhD

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e3182351384
Article

Of primary concern to health care facilities today is the reduction of preventable injuries such as patient falls that often lead to serious and fatal injuries and result in increased lengths of stays, resource demands, costs, and lawsuits. Although all patients have the capacity to fall, a major challenge is to identify the presence of key risk factors exhibited by a patient as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of an adverse fall event. Currently, fall risk assessment and prevention practices focus on nurses identifying the risk factors for falls with a limited use of technology. This article introduces a preliminary falls risk assessment and prevention model that uses standardized clinical and operational performance indicators linked through the Web to the patient's electronic health record to produce an electronic Fall Surveillance System. The use of an integrated Fall Surveillance System linked directly to the electronic health record allows for the implementation of quick "real-time" preventive intervention that would dramatically improve the quality and costs of patient care.

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida, Orlando (Mr Falen and Dr Unruh); A. T. Still University, Mesa, Arizona (Mr Falen); and School of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Dr Segal).

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Thomas Falen, MA, RHIA, LHRM, 2718 Tremont Dr, Eustis, FL 32726 (thomas.falen@ucf.edu).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.