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Analysis of Patient Fall Data

Benson, Carl Joseph (2008) Analysis of Patient Fall Data. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Patient falls are common adverse events that occur in all healthcare environments. Patient falls are a common cause of morbidity ("disability caused by accident") and the leading cause of nonfatal injuries producing trauma-related hospitalizations in the United States. Patient falls result in longer hospital stays, attendant increases in medical costs and reduced quality of life for the patients who experience these events. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the patient fall data collected by a community based acute teaching hospital. These data were then analyzed by a variety of analytical methods to determine if there are correlations related to location and timing of the falls, as well as the characteristics of the patients who fell. Conclusions were then made as to possible improvements in methods to monitor patients to reduce patient fall rate. The major results of this analysis were: (1) statistical methods were found to be useful in providing an improved understanding of the characteristics of the patient fall data and thus allow hospital staff to rely on quantitative metrics to make decisions of how to try and reduce patient fall rates, (2) the time intervals between consecutive fall events were found to be distributed exponentially, (3) the hospital-wide hospital monthly fall rate goals, as well as the individual hospital unit patient fall rate goals were shown to be regularly exceeded by the measured data, and (5) review of the fall score screen values used to assess the risk for patient falls, while overall a predictor of patient who did and did not fall, was not a good predictor for determining if individual patients would fall. As a result of this study, a number of specific recommendations will proposed to the hospital as a means to potentially improve the methods for addressing patient falls. A hospital-wide cultural change had been commenced in June 2007 to attempt to reduce the rate of patient falls. The effect of implementing this program will be followed by observing whether the over-all hospital and unit monthly fall rates are reduced.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Benson, Carl
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHunsacker,
Committee CoChairSacre, Mary Besterfieldmbsacre@engr.pitt.eduMBSACRE
Committee MemberNeedy, Kimkneedy@engr.pitt.eduKNEEDY
Date: 8 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 February 2008
Approval Date: 8 September 2008
Submission Date: 24 March 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Degree: MSIE - Master of Science in Industrial Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: fall rate; fall rate goals; Patient falls; patient safety; rounding procedure
Other ID:, etd-03242008-203921
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:32
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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