Other Nursing Sensitive Measures

Patient Falls with Injury on Medical Units

What are we measuring and why?

MGH monitors the percentage of patients who are injured as a result of a slip or fall in the hospital.

Falls are known to be one of the most common adverse events among inpatients. Falls that result in injury may increase a patient’s length of stay and increase the risk of morbidity and mortality, especially in older patient.

How are we doing and how does this compare to best practice

MGH remains dedicated to preventing falls and patient injury associated with falling. Our philosophy is that one fall is too many. Our fall with injury rates in the 4 different units are not statistically significant compared to the state averages for hospitals with over 500 beds (www.patientcarelink.org). These rates vary over time and our overall goal is to decrease risk of falls with injury hospital wide.

  • Current Scores
  • Lower values are better
0.7 0.52 0.14 0.5 0.56 0.36 0.09 0.09

MGH Source: MGH Safety Reporting System.
Comparison Group Source: PatientCareLink

Oct14-Sep15 data

0.14 0.15 0.09 0.03 0.5 0.48 0.09 0.7 0.59 0.56 0.59 0.52 0.39 0.36 0.47

MGH Source: MGH Safety Reporting System.
Comparison Group Source: PatientCareLink

What are we doing to improve?

MGH is doing several things to reduce falls and injuries due to falls. Some examples include:

  • Improving the information we give to nurses about the patients who fall on their own unit; this will help them to identify risks specific to the type of patient they care for
  • Installing ceiling lifts in patient rooms to help ensure the safe transfer of patients at risk
  • Improving the physical environment, such as installing grab bars in bathrooms
  • Developing toileting schedules in order to provide assistance with ambulation to the bathroom, a time when many patients fall
  • Researching whether frequent and regular checks reduces falls, particularly with patients whose condition puts them at higher risk (e.g. neurology patients)
  • Continuing to explore ways to prevent injury if a patient does fall such as padded clothing and mats on floors

What can you do?

Patients and family members can avoid falling by asking for help when needed and keeping necessary items easily accessible.

Call for assistance to help you get up:

  • if you are feeling dizzy or weak.
  • if you have any medical equipment, such as IVs, drains, or tubes, in or on you.
  • Keep your bed in the low position.
  • Keep the nurse call button, the phone, and your personal care items where you can reach them without leaning.


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