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What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

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What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

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  1. What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital? Hospitalist Best Practice J Rush Pierce Jr, MD, MPH March 13, 2013

  2. Disclosures • Financial: none • Affiliations/biases • I am member of the American Geriatrics Society; AGS helped develop consensus guidelines for evaluation and treatment of elders who fall • 5% of my salary supported by Donald W Reynolds Foundation for education of hospital care of elders • evidence should inform our thinking What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  3. How we think about falls • Most of literature about adult falls is in elderly persons who fall at home or in nursing homes • Little literature about patients who fall in the hospital • Much of our thinking about hospital falls is extrapolated from outpatient data • Hospital falls are considered a “never event” by Medicare Source: Inouye: N Engl J Med 2009;360:2390 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  4. Roadmap for today • Describe case • Review some literature about outpatient falls in elderly persons • Review literature about inpatient falls • Review UNMH experience with inpatient falls • Discuss possible system changes at UNMH What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  5. Learning Objectives • Identify at least 3 factors associated with falls in elderly persons. • State the most common etiology of falling in elderly persons. • Summarize the epidemiology of in-patient falls. • Describe an approach for evaluating the in-patient who falls. What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  6. Case • You are providing cross-cover. The 4W nurse calls you at 2 AM because an 84 year old woman fell in her room. The patient was admitted two ago with pneumonia and is receiving IV antibiotics and oxygen. The nurse says the patient fell when trying to get to the toilet. The nurse says the patient “seems okay” but thinks that maybe you should come see the patient. What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  7. Questions you might have • How promptly do I need to see this patient? (Can’t this wait until the morning?) • If I go to see the patient, how do I evaluate her? (What the #@!! am I supposed to do?) • Is there anyway to prevent this? (How do I keep from getting these 2AM calls?) What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  8. Out-patient falls: literature review

  9. Is falling in the elderly a significant health problem? • 30 – 40 % of elderly persons fall each year • 5 – 6% result in injury significant enough to see a doctor or go to ED • 2 – 3 % result in hospitalization (Ave LOS = 8d) • Annual cost to Medicare = $19B (est FY2000) Source: Stevens. Injury Prev 2006;12:290 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  10. Why do elderly persons fall? • In the elderly, syncope is an uncommon cause of falling (0.5%) • Common mechanism of falling in the elderly • environmental perturbation (“I tripped”) • impaired neuromuscular reflex systems due to combination of age-related changes and co-morbid illness/medications • 80% of falls in the elderly are “unique to the elderly” Source: Rubenstein: Clin Geriatr Med 2002;18:141 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  11. Epidemiologic factors associated with outpatients falls in the elderly • Age (>80) • Cognitive impairment • Female gender • Past history of fall (second largest effect) • Lower extremity weakness (largest effect) • Balance difficulty • Arthritis Source: Rubenstein: Clin Geriatr Med 2002;18:141 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  12. Medications associated with falls in the elderly Source: Huang: Drugs Aging 2012;29:359 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  13. Medications associated with hip fracture in the elderly Source: Huang: Drugs Aging 2012;29:359 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  14. Evaluating falls in community-dwelling elderly persons Adapted from: Panel on prevention of falls in older persons: J Am Geriatr Soc 2011;59:148 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  15. What interventions prevent falls in elderly out-patients? • Four interventions have shown to be effective • Medication review and adjustment • Environmental changes • Exercise (or physical therapy) • Vit D if deficient (association) • Combination of all four (multi-modality) result in relative risk reduction of 10 – 25% Sources: Panel on prevention of falls in older persons: J Am Geriatr Soc 2011;59:148. Controversies in geriatrics. J Am Geriatr Soc 2013;61:281 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  16. Falls in ambulatory elders (concl.) • Falls occur frequently and can result in injury • Falls are usually due to inadequate compensatory neuromuscular mechanisms • Major risk factors include lower extremity weakness, past h/o fall, female gender, and meds (psychotropics, benzos and narcotics) • Interventions can reduce risk of future falls • Evidence based guidelines are available What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  17. In-patient falls: literature review

  18. Epidemiology of inpatient falls (Barnes Hospital 2001-2) • 1,235 falls by 1082 pts (3.10 falls/1000 pt days) • 89% single fall, 11% more than once • 40% related to toileting • Serious injury (laceration requiring sutures, loss of consciousness, fracture, SDH) – 6% • Death – 0.2% (both in patient with more than 1 fall) Source: Fisher: Inf Control Hosp Epidem 2005;26:822 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  19. Epidemiology of inpatient falls (Barnes Hospital 2001-2) Source: Fisher: Inf Control Hosp Epidem 2005;26:822 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  20. Source: Fisher: Inf Control Hosp Epidem 2005;26:822 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  21. Epidemiology of fall-related injury in the hospital • 9 hospitals in Midwest, 2001 – 2003 • 7,082 falls • 40% falls associated with toileting • 42% assoc w/injury, 2.4 % serious injury • Increased age, fall in location other than pt room and unassisted fall assoc with injury Source: Krauss: Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:544 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  22. Epidemiology of in-patient falls • National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) from 2006 – 2008 • 315,817 falls in 1263 hospitals • Conclusions: • 3.56 falls/1000 patient days • 26% injury rate • Rate of falls and fall-related injury higher on medical than surgical floors Source: Bouldin: J Patient Saf 2012:Epub What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  23. Epidemiology: UNMH in-patient falls study • 298 PSN’s reporting falls in 2010 • Exclude pts < 18 y/o (2), pregnant pts (3), pts with no matching MR (7) • 286 falls, 251 pts • 152 males (61%), 99 females (39%) • 63 falls with injury (25%); 11 (4%) serious injury (laceration requiring sutures, fracture, subdural) What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  24. Falls by unit What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  25. Fall related to toileting What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  26. Falls with injury What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  27. Predictors of fall with injury What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  28. Documentation, all falls What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  29. Documentation, falls with injury What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  30. Epidemiology: medication use and in-patient falls Source: Prakash; J Hospital Med 2013:8:1 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  31. Cost of hospital fall-related injury • Case reports: delayed recognition of fall-related injury can result in liability risk • 3 Midwestern hospitals, 2004 – 2006 • 57 inpatient with serious fall-related injury • $13,316 and 6.3 days more than case controls • NHS Litigation claims • 668 claims • 60% payments, mean = $30K Souces: Wong: Joint Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2011:37:81; Oliver: Qual Saf Health Care 2008;17:431 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  32. Can we predict which pts will fall? • Outpatient - Best clinical predictors are previous fall in past 6 months and Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) test • Inpatient – Falls risk tools (Morse, STRATIFY, Hendrich II, Conley) • Not very good, best sensitivity = 73%, specificity = 42% Sources: Beauchet: J Nutr Health Aging 2011;15:933; da Costa: Plos One 2012;7:e41061 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  33. What single interventions do not prevent inpatient falls? • Bedrails • Exercise • Staff training • Patient education • Medication review/adjustment • Bed alarms Sources: Shorr: Ann Intern Med 2012;157:692; Cameron: Cochrane Database Syst Rev;2012:CD005465 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  34. Do multi-modality interventions prevent inpatient falls? • Very limited data – two observational studies show 20-25% reduction with bundle • 3 RCT of bundle in acute care hospitals – • one showed no reduction in falls • one showed reduction for those with recurrent falls • One showed reduction of falls in elderly, but no reduction in fall-related injury Source: Cameron: Cochrane Database Syst Rev;2012:CD005465 What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  35. Case • You are providing cross-cover. The 4W nurse calls you at 2 AM because an 84 year old woman fell in her room. She was admitted two ago with pneumonia and is receiving IV antibiotics and oxygen. The nurse says the patient fell when trying to get to the toilet. The nurse says the patient “seems okay” but thinks that maybe you should come see the patient. • What happens at UNMH? What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  36. What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  37. In-patient falls (conclusions) • Result in serious injury in 2 – 6% of patients • More common on med/surg units and frequently related to toileting • Falls and especially delayed recognition of fall-related injury poses significant liability risk • Our ability to predict and prevent falls is very limited • Regulatory agencies expect hospitals to monitor and address this problem What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  38. Conclusions • Outpatient falls and inpatient falls are probably different epidemiologically • About 5% of in-patients who fall in the hospital will suffer significant injury • Evidence-based guidance about assessment is lacking • UNMH physician documentation of falls is poor • More study is needed What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?

  39. What should we do about fall related injury in the hospital? - Possible actions at UNMH - • Use/review the checklist for evaluating pts who fall • Limit use of zolpidem in patients at risk • Decrease narcotic use in the hospital • Other What should we do about fall-related injury in the hospital?