Does acute care for the elderly (ACE) unit decrease the incidence of falls?

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To determine whether acute care for the elderly (ACE) units decrease the incidence of patient falls compared to general medical and surgical (GMS) units, a non-concurrent prospective study included individuals aged 65 and older admitted to ACE or GMS units over a 2-year span was done. There were 7069 admissions corresponded to 28,401 patient-days. A total of 149 falls were reported for an overall incidence rate (IR) of 5.2 falls per 1000 patient-days, 95% CI, 4.4/1000–6.1/1000 patient-days. The falls IR ratio for patients in ACE unit compared to those in non-ACE units after adjusting for age, sex, prescribed psychotropics and hypnotics, and Morse Fall Score was 0.27/1000 patient-days; 95% CI, 0.13–0.54; p < 0.001. So, an estimated 73% reduction in patient falls between ACE unit and non-ACE units. Hospitals may consider investing in ACE units to decrease the risk of falls and the associated medical and financial costs.

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