The aim of this project was to promote evidence-based practice with regard to fall prevention and management, by implementing the recommendations from the best available evidence to reduce fall rates.
Falls are a main cause of disability in older people and the most common adverse event in all hospital patients. It is essential to implement the recommendations from evidence-based interventions to reduce these events.
A pre and post implementation audit method was used in a neurology ward, which employed the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (JBI PACES) and Getting Research Into Practice (GRiP) module. The 15-month project evaluated between 20–30 patients from a sample at each audit (baseline in April 2016 and during three follow-up cycles in December 2016, March 2017 and June 2017). The data were inputted into an informatics system from nursing records and audited according to evidence-based processes and outcomes criteria.
The baseline outcomes identified five barriers: incomplete fall registration, lack of an established fall prevention protocol for at-risk patients, limited knowledge about the fall prevention protocol, lack of a fall risk assessment scale and lack of multifactorial individual plans for fall prevention. Strategies were carried out and implemented following GRiP and all the criteria improved from baseline.
The project successfully increased evidence-based practice on falls and provided mechanisms for sustaining evidence-based practice changes. Further audits are needed to improve some outcomes.