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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Fall prevention in acute care hospitals: a randomized trial.

Dykes PC, Carroll DL, Hurley A, et al. JAMA. 2010;304(17):1912-1918.

Patient falls are among the preventable complications of hospital care for which hospitals no longer receive additional reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Experts in the field have questioned the wisdom of this policy; even though falls are common, little evidence has been available to guide fall prevention strategies. This randomized controlled trial offers an advance in fall prevention, as it demonstrated a significant reduction in falls by using a customized fall prevention strategy. The study also represents a novel application of information technology to improve patient safety, as the patient-specific fall prevention toolkit was developed with a novel software application drawing from the electronic medical record.