The aim of this project was to implement best practice evidence to reduce incidence of falls in an acute care ward.
This project was conducted in a 44-bed acute care ward in a 935-bed acute care tertiary hospital from December 2010 to May 2011. This project utilized the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (JBI PACES), a pre- and post-implementation audit strategy, and the Joanna Briggs Institute Getting Research Into Practice (JBI GRIP) programs. The audits included three out of eight criteria recommended by the Joanna Briggs Institute. The process involved reviewing patients' medical records, verifying implementation of targeted fall preventive interventions, and fall risk assessment training for ward nurses.
The findings of the post-implementation audit showed small to significant improvement in all three criteria, indicating compliance with best practice. After nurses had attended the education and training programs on fall risk assessment, accuracy in fall risk assessment has improved by 43%, patient and family education documentation showed an improvement of 31%, and targeted fall prevention interventions achieved a 4% improvement.
This project found that implementing evidence-based practice of the fall prevention criteria has raised awareness, improved knowledge, and reduced rate of falls. For inpatient fall prevention to be effective in the hospital, creating awareness, education, and communication to every staff member and patient and/or caregiver are essential. The pre- and post-implementation clinical audit is a useful method for evaluating the effectiveness of implementing evidence-based clinical practice.