Tai chi practice in the older and at-risk population reduces the risk of falls (with the most robust results in the short-term) and may reduce the risk of injury from falls; no effect is seen when measuring time to the first fall.
So much of the effort to reduce patient falls has focused on the use of alarms and physical aids that the suggestion of eliminating those tools can sound heretical. But some healthcare facilities are forgoing alarms and other methods on the theory that they can give both patients and staff a false sense of security.
In a study of 15,000 adults undergoing elective surgery, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that falling up to six months before an operation is common and often causes serious injuries across all age groups. The frequency of falls among middle-aged patients was slightly higher than among those who were age 65 or older
The recent issue of the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage includes an article about the results of a project of The Joint Commission that successfully reduced the average number of monthly falls of TJC field staff by 64.8% and has sustained the results for four years.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II clinical trial of oral rivastigmine in 130 patients with moderate-stage Parkinson’s disease demonstrated improved gait stability as measured by accelerometry, and suggested an association with lower rate of falls.
Determined to reduce slips, trips, and falls in common areas, a safety team at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, FL, studied incident reports to determine the most common causes and potential solutions. After implementing several mostly simple safety initiatives, the hospital saw a 16% reduction in falls from the previous year.