Clinical Effectiveness and Cost of a Hospital-Based Fall Prevention Intervention: The Importance of Time Nurses Spend on the Front Line of Implementation

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and incremental net cost of a fall prevention intervention that involved hourly rounding by RNs at 2 hospitals.

BACKGROUND

Minimizing in-hospital falls is a priority, but little is known about the value of fall prevention interventions.

METHODS

We used an uncontrolled before-after design to evaluate changes in fall rates and time use by RNs. Using decision-analytical models, we estimated incremental net costs per hospital per year.

RESULTS

Falls declined at 1 hospital (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26-0.87; P = .016), but not the other (IRR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.59-1.17; P = .28). Cost analyses projected a 67.9% to 72.2% probability of net savings at both hospitals due to unexpected declines in the time that RNs spent in fall-related activities.

CONCLUSIONS

Incorporating fall prevention into hourly rounds might improve value. Time that RNs invest in implementing quality improvement interventions can equate to sizable opportunity costs or savings.

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