Fall Risk Assessment Tools
Validity Considerations and a Recommended Approach
Falls in hospital are common and have serious consequences for patients, including physical and psychological harm, increase length of stay and hospital costs. A systematic approach is required to report and identify factors contributing to in-hospital falls and develop interventions to reduce inpatient fall rates. Different hospital settings have different fall rates and characteristics depending on type of hospital service and admission diagnosis. Screening tools were developed to assess fall risk but are usually insensitive to be useful in reducing falls. There is also a need for prospective validation in each hospital setting to ensure accuracy, resulting in a move away from using such scoring tools. A recommended approach for fall risk assessment is given, which integrates the process for outpatient settings and inpatients.
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