The Economics of Preventing Hospital Falls: Demonstrating ROI Through a Simple Model

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to assess the cost savings associated with implementing nursing approaches to prevent in-hospital falls.

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

Falls-prevention programs need to be carefully targeted to patients at greatest risk in order to achieve cost savings.

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