Patient falls and fall-related injury remain a safety concern. This issue includes 3 important studies related to falls. Many readers work in settings that use the Johns Hopkins Fall Risk Assessment Tool (JHFRAT). Psychometric properties in acute care settings, however, have not yet been fully established. Our lead article fills that gap. Results indicate that the JHFRAT is reliable, with high sensitivity and negative predictive validity. Specificity and positive predictive validity were lower than expected. Another study, using NDNQI data, examined the associations of injurious falls with multilevel factors in hospitals. The sample included all falls recorded in adult medical, surgical, combined medical-surgical, and step-down units (N = 2299) in participating hospitals (N = 488). Results revealed hospital and unit organizational factors were associated with inpatient injurious falls. The third study approaches falls from a different perspective: the views of patients (N=100) who had fallen in the hospital. One of the findings was that patients often downplayed the risks of falls and were reluctant to call for help. Read et al analyzed factors associated with removal of a urinary catheter within 48 hours after surgery across 59 hospitals. Three factors explained 36% of the variance in urinary catheter removal: fewer falls per 1000 discharges, better nurse-patient communication, and higher percentage of Medicare patients. Other articles address sustaining QI initiatives, using a safety checklist, improving compliance with daily weights and infection control, and more. Don’t miss reading every article in this issue and share the journal with colleagues.
Marilyn H. Oermann, Editor-in-Chief