The objective of this study was to assess the cost savings associated with implementing nursing approaches to prevent in-hospital falls.
Hospital rating programs often report fall rates, and performance-based payment systems force hospitals to bear the costs of treating patients after falls. Some interventions have been demonstrated as effective for falls prevention.
Costs of falls-prevention programs, financial savings associated with in-hospital falls reduction, and achievable fall rate improvement are measured using published literature. Net costs are calculated for implementing a falls-prevention program as compared with not making improvements in patient fall rates.
Falls-prevention programs can reduce the cost of treatment, but in many scenarios, the costs of falls-prevention programs were greater than potential cost savings.
Falls-prevention programs need to be carefully targeted to patients at greatest risk in order to achieve cost savings.
Author Affiliations: Professor (Dr Spetz), Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies & Center for the Health Professions, University of California, San Francisco; Executive Director for Cost Improvement Strategy (Dr Brown), Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, and Senior Scientist (Dr Brown), Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes (CALNOC), San Ramon, California; and Research Scientist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Burns & Allen Research Institute, Los Angeles; and DataManagement Services Director (Dr Aydin), CALNOC, San Ramon, California.
This intramural research was funded by CALNOC.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence: Dr Spetz, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, 3333 California St, Ste 265, San Francisco, CA 94118 (firstname.lastname@example.org).