Falls prevention strategies for adult inpatients in a university hospital of São Paulo, Brazil: a best practice implementation project

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Objectives:The main objective of this project was to reduce the incidence and harm from falls that occur among patients admitted in the acute Internal Medicine Unit and Intensive Care Unit in a public teaching hospital in São Paulo, Brazil.Introduction:Falls are a challenge for health professionals and healthcare services as they may result in high-impact outcomes for patients, such as functional decline, increase in length of hospital stay, increase in the cost of healthcare services, and death. In an attempt to promote safe care the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety in 2004 that encourages the adoption of best practice to reduce adverse events in healthcare services.Methods:The project used the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (JBI-PACES) and Getting Research into Practice (GRiP) audit tool for promoting change in health practice. A baseline audit was conducted measuring eight best practice criterias, followed by the implementation of target strategies and a follow-up audit.Results:The results of the baseline audit identified large gaps between current practice and overall compliance with best practice. The GRiP module helped identify strategies related to education programs for patients, families and nursing teams, and a falls risk assessment with an accurate tool to address the gaps in compliance. The follow-up audit cycle was satisfactory as all best practice audit criteria showed an improvement as an aggregated result.Conclusions:The project used the audit and feedback strategy to translate evidence into practice. Some of the measured criteria improved to moderate-high compliance with best practice. The results showed that implementation of evidence-based practice leads to an improvement in falls prevention. Future audits are required to sustain improvements.

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