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Table 1 Components of the interdisciplinary falls prevention program

From: Falls and consequent injuries in hospitalized patients: effects of an interdisciplinary falls prevention program

  Referring discipline
Screening of all patients at admission for risk of falls: Primary nurse
- History of falls (i.e. 2 or more falls in the last 6 months)  
- Impaired mobility (e.g., unsteady, weak gait)  
- Impaired cognition (e.g., confused, forgetful)  
Examination of patients considered at risk for falling: Physician
- Note circumstances and consequences of earlier falls  
- Examine patients for acute or chronic medical condition(s)  
- Review medications  
- Assess gait, balance, vision, neurological function, and mental status  
Interventions for all patients to provide safety in the hospital: Primary nurse
- Orient patients to surroundings/"set up" of room Nursing staff
- Place call bell and personal belongings within reach  
- Keep bed in low position  
- Ensure safe footwear and adequate fit of clothing  
- Provide nightlight at bedside  
- Ensure walking aids (devices) are fitted and used appropriately  
- Lock wheels on wheelchairs, beds, night commodes  
Interventions in patients considered at risk for falling: Physician
- Modification of medication Primary nurse
- Instruction of patients (family) about risk factors Nursing staff
- Post fall risk sign in patient's record Physiotherapy staff
- Assist unsteady patient with ambulating  
- Toilet patient regularly  
- Use half-length side rails instead of full length side rails  
- Exercise program, gait/balance training  
- Provision of hip-protectors  
Reassessment of those patients who fell: Physician
- Evaluation of circumstances and consequences of the fall Primary nurse
- Reassessment of patient risk factors for falls  
- Continuing or implementation of preventive interventions