Falls remain one of the most pressing risks for the patients in healthcare facilities, as they negatively affect their hospital stays, health outcomes, and cost of treatment. The lack of education among nursing staff is considered a leading cause of this issue. Thus, educational interventions are required to offer nurses opportunities to learn better fall prevention and management strategies, as well as understand the patient risks more clearly. According to The Joint Commission (2018), falls can be prevented in hospitals once nurses gain skills and knowledge on how to overcome them through education. This paper proposes evidence-based changes to help healthcare workers enhance their ability to minimize falls in their facilities.
Evidence-Based Practice to Implement
The quality of healthcare is comprised of clinical safety, which is considered a crucial component that identifies and reduces the risks faced by patients. Montejano-Lozoya et al. (2020) defined falls as adverse events which occur in a hospital environment and have a significant impact of about 10% of income made by the organization. The effects come in terms of costs, damage, pain, and mistrust of the health system by patients. Various studies found that nurses often fail to assess the patient’s risks for falling, as well as lack specific knowledge as to how to prevent it. Therefore, the education of nurses should be employed as a falls prevention practice to implement.
EBP Model and Rationale for Using It
The intervention would require the Iowa Model for Evidence-Based Practice to Promote Quality Care for implementation. Research by Heng et al. (2020) indicated that falls often occur when healthcare professionals are not keen on helping guide clients. This is often contributed by limited skills and knowledge to observe policy standards when handling patients, which is why this specific model is chosen. Whenever falls happen, they are likely to increase the complications of patients, especially those already with injuries and the older people exposed to the risk of falling (Kempegowda et al., 2018). The changes are set to improve the education of nurses when it comes to preventing falls. The measures include nurses’ empowerment to have them lead the patient care process and curricula strengthening to focus on the skills and concepts needed for one to participate in activities of preventing falls.
Necessary Leadership Competencies
To properly implement an educational intervention, a leader would need to exercise significant social skills in interacting with nurses. Education would need to take place alongside the working process, and it might pose a discomfort for the employees, as they would get an additional workload. Thus, in order to facilitate engagement and promote the importance of education, the leader would need to offer ethical guidance, effective time management skills, a culturally-tailored approach, and exhibit a positive attitude towards changes. Additionally, it could be wise for the leader to provide additional support for the employees who struggle with maintaining their work and educational balance to ensure they do not experience burnout or mental issues.
The implementation begins with the evaluation of the needs, set goals, and preparation for the change to prevent falls, which would require a first analysis of the facility’s existing guidelines and strategies. The education of nurses should be then attained by integrating organizational ongoing operation procedures that will be developed on the data obtained from the analysis. The strategy starts by defining the responsibilities and roles of nurses in preventing falls and the requirement to change to execute the best approaches (Clayton et al., 2020). The system would also need to be electronically monitored to track the changes and sustain the program through constant informing of senior managers on the progress of reducing falls.
Necessary Interprofessional Collaboration
The proposed evidence-based practice would require the collaboration of multiprofessional teams to ensure that the nurses’ education is as effective as possible. Shaw et al. (2020) identified education as a single intervention, or it can be incorporated as part of the multifactorial interventions used in the programs aimed at reducing or preventing falls. Nurses’ education in fall prevention strategies should be comprehensive and versatile in order to cover the multitude of issues related to the specified problem; therefore, physicians and clinical research coordinators must be involved. The educational interventions must also support policies and guidelines to create a safe environment and reduce risk factors, which calls for the help of local policymakers. Additionally, the prevention strategies explained in the process of education should stimulate engagement in technical aspects to eliminate potential fall hazards. Finally, the last point of nurses’ education should elaborate on raising awareness among patients and communities on the issue of falling and how to prevent it with the help of community nurses.
A Communication Strategy
The communication strategies would need to focus on promoting the educational opportunities and positive effects of proposed changes to the nurses. It could be done through pitching presentations at the staff meetings, inviting external experts to explain the scope of the problem, and organizing study groups among the employees. Nurses need to clearly see the advantages of education and how it can help them in clinical settings and recognize the importance of preventing falls among patients as supported by factual evidence. Moreover, leaders can communicate the advantages of the intervention by approaching hospital managers and establishing connections with them to secure employee benefits for participation.
Strategies to Sustain the EBP Change
The sustainability of any evidence-based changes in healthcare depends on the data collected before, during, and after the intervention to help determine the risks, adjust the change program, or evaluate the outcomes. The main strategy to sustain this EBP involves data delivery on fall risks in relation to care units and during the discharge of patients. The management should also provide continuous support and assist in improving the educational practices of nurses to prevent patient falls. The changes could be sustained through constant informing of senior managers on the progress of reducing falls. The constant analysis of incoming data would help identify weak areas of the intervention and address them in a timely manner. Moreover, the information obtained during the whole process would serve as a basis for future interventions.
Strategies to Evaluate the Success of Changes
The expected outcomes are measured by nurses being able to identify and assess various fall risk factors and apply the acquired skills and knowledge to prevent falls. The first part of the evaluation would include risk assessments to identify the patients with the highest possibility of falling, as well as nurses’ skills at preventing these risks. For that, a variety of tools can be used, such as Marginal Analysis, SWOT Diagram, and different risk assessment scales. The effectiveness of the nursing intervention plan would be judged by the results of the assessments. Secondly, a post-fall evaluation would be applied to identify the outcomes of the nursing intervention and the role of education in reducing risk factors for falling.
The Joint Commission (2018). Preventing falls and fall-related injuries in health care facilities. Sentinel Event Alert, 55, 1-55. Web.
Clayton, K., Grimm, J., Olguin, S. M., & Tarrant, T. (2020). Impact of falls in the long-term care setting: A guide to prevention. Web.
Heng, H., Jazayeri, D., Shaw, L., Kiegaldie, D., Hill, A. M., & Morris, M. E. (2020). Hospital falls prevention with patient education: A scoping review. BMC Geriatrics, 20, 1-12. Web.
Kempegowda, P., Chandan, J. S., Hutton, R., Brown, L., Madden, W., Webb, J., Doyle, A., & Treml, J. (2018). Focused educational intervention improves but may not sustain knowledge regarding falls management. BMJ Open Quality, 7(3), e000222. Web.
Montejano-Lozoya, R., Miguel-Montoya, I., Gea-Caballero, V., Mármol-López, M. I., Ruíz-Hontangas, A., & Ortí-Lucas, R. (2020). Impact of nurses’ intervention in the prevention of falls in hospitalized patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(17), 1-13. Web.
Shaw, L., Kiegaldie, D., & Farlie, M. K. (2020). Education interventions for health professionals on fall prevention in health care settings: A 10-year scoping review. BMC Geriatrics, 20(1), 1-13. Web.