New Sentinel Event Alert focuses on patient falls prevention

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

September 30, 2015

Sentinel Event Alert (SEA) #55, issued by The Joint Commission this week, urges healthcare facilities to take action to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Falls are routinely in the top 10 sentinel events reported to The Joint Commission each year. The most common causes of falls or fall-related injuries, include poor patient assessment, lack of communication, failure to follow healthcare facility protocols and safety practices, and the absence of strong leadership, according to the SEA.

The Joint Commission recommends the following actions under the command of a strong leadership:
•    Raise awareness of the need to prevent falls
•    Create an interdisciplinary falls injury prevention team
•    Implement a standardized tool to assess possible fall risks
•    Develop patient-specific plans of care based on possible fall and injury risks
•    Create standardized practices and interventions for healthcare professionals and patients
•    Perform a root cause analysis after a fall

Read the SEA for further information on The Joint Commission’s recommendations to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.