It’s estimated that between 700,000 to 1 million falls happen in hospitals across the United States every year. Feeling ill, taking medicines, and being in an unfamiliar environment are just some of the reasons you may fall when hospitalized. If you’re over the age of 65 — or if you have a history of falls — you are at even greater risk of falling while in the hospital.
UPMC’s Fall Prevention Program was developed to help prevent hospital falls. It includes careful screening and monitoring of patients who are at risk for falls, and taking special measures when needed.
Our prevention program includes screening all patients for fall risk at the time of admission to the hospital. This in-depth fall risk assessment features scores that identify patients in fall categories ranging from “no risk” to “high risk”. If you are identified as at risk, your scores are checked every day of your stay for changes.
Recently, fall histories have been included in UPMC’s eRecord. Adding such information to your medical history gives your caregivers valuable insights that can help during your risk assessment, as well as minimize the chances of falling when you return home.
If you are found to be at risk for falls, some of the special prevention measures to reduce your risk may include floor pads, lower beds, and non-slip footwear.
You and your family can also play an active role in reducing your risk, such as using the call bell whenever you need help and asking for assistance when going to the bathroom. By communicating with your nurse and other caregivers, you can help prevent falls.