Falls Rates Improved in Southeastern Pennsylvania: The Impact of a Regional Initiative to Standardize Falls Reporting

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) partnered in 2008 to establish a falls reporting initiative to assist hospitals in their falls prevention efforts. Following the development of standardized definitions for falls and falls with harm, the initiative provided participating hospitals with two full years of deidentified comparison reports to measure and benchmark progress with falls prevention. Most significantly, the reports revealed five uninterrupted quarters of steady decline in rates of falls with harm. The Authority and HCIF hypothesized that this decline was the result of effective interventions and approached those hospitals that showed steady improvement to learn more about their falls prevention programs. The assessment revealed that several regional hospitals had implemented effective and innovative strategies as a result of the benchmarking data to boost their existing falls prevention measures. To continue the improvement realized through this initiative, the Authority is moving forward with a statewide reporting initiative that includes a modification to the Authority’s reporting system to track falls and to provide facility- and unit-level falls data from both the inpatient and outpatient settings. The Authority has also partnered with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania in the Hospital Engagement Network of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as part of the Partnership for Patients initiative and will attempt to reproduce the success that the data collection and reporting initiative achieved in the southeastern region of Pennsylvania.

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