Pre-Procedural Patient Education Reduces Fall Risk in an Outpatient Endoscopy Suite

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Abstract

The purpose of this article was to determine whether scripted pre-procedural fall risk patient education and nurses' intention to assist patients after receiving sedation improves receptiveness of nursing assistance during recovery and decreases fall risk in an outpatient endoscopy suite. We prospectively identified high fall risk patients using the following criteria: (1) use of an assistive device, (2) fallen two or more times within the last year, (3) sustained an injury in a fall within a year, (4) age greater than 85 years, or (5) nursing judgment of high fall risk. Using a scripted dialogue, nurses educated high-risk patients of their fall risk and the nurses' intent to assist them to and in the bathroom. Documentation of patient education, script use, and assistance was monitored. Over 24 weeks, 892 endoscopy patients were identified as high fall risk; 790 (88.5%) accepted post-procedural assistance. Documentation of assistance significantly increased from 33% to 100%. Patients receiving education and postprocedural assistance increased from 27.9% to 100% at week 24. No patient falls occurred 12 months following implementation among patients identified as high fall risk. Scripted pre-procedural fall risk education increases patient awareness and receptiveness to assistance and can lead to decreased fall rates.

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