What Are We Measuring?

Falls are one of the most common adverse events among hospitalized patients. Those that result in an injury may increase a patient’s length of stay and their risk of complications and mortality, particularly among older adults.

Falls and related injuries are nursing-sensitive indicators and reflect the quality of nursing care. We are dedicated to preventing patient falls and associated injuries. Our philosophy is that one fall is too many.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, Nursing and Patient Care Services reports the percentage of patients who are injured due to a slip or fall while in the hospital (per 1,000 patient days). This data is compared to the rate of falls with injury for similar hospitals in Massachusetts. Nursing and Patient Care Services use this data to identify opportunities to improve the nursing care provided to our patients and families.

How Are We Performing?

Patient Falls with Injury

Lower scores are better

Mass General Source: Mass General Safety Reporting System
Peer Group Average Source: Patientcarelink.org
Date Period: January - December 2019

What Are We Doing to Improve?

We formed a multidisciplinary Falls Task Force group to lead improvement efforts, including:

  • In February 2018, Patient Care Services (PCS) implemented the Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety (TIPS) Program to help reduce patient falls
  • Nurses follow universal fall prevention strategies to create a safe environment that reduces accidental falls for all patients
  • Ceiling lifts are available in patient rooms to help ensure the safe transfer of patients at risk of falling
  • Grab bars have been placed in bathrooms throughout the hospital to assist patients when needed
  • Nurses develop toileting schedules to assist with ambulation to the bathroom—a time when many falls occur
  • We are researching to determine if conducting frequent and regular checks reduces falls, particularly among patients with conditions that put them at higher risk of falling (e.g., neurology patients)
  • We continue to explore additional ways to prevent injuries associated with falls, such as padded clothing and mats on floors