Patient falls constitute one of the most serious problems in adult-gerontology primary care. The nursing model that can be used as a framework to promote the management of the identified issue is patient-centered care. Although this approach is known to increase patient satisfaction, scholars argue that it may not be beneficial for evidence-based practice (Delaney, 2018). Nevertheless, it seems possible to apply patient-centered care to reduce patient falls in evidence-based nursing.
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Patient falls belong to the most frequently reported adverse events. Even though the focus of the selected area of advanced practice nursing in primary care, the nurse must be able to consult patients about this adverse event. There are over 1 million cases recorded annually (Aydin, Donaldson, & Aronow, 2015). Not only are patient falls the cause of high morbidity and mortality but they also lead to substantial financial losses.
Older adults have a high risk of falls and maybe at an increased risk of falls at a hospital. Adults may have no disposition towards falls when they are in the community, but they may develop the risk once they are at a hospital, where they experience debilitation and have a low level of personal vulnerability awareness. Recent studies indicate that preventing patient falls altogether may be impossible, so scholars and practitioners focus their efforts on preventing falls with injury (Aydin et al., 2015).
The selected nursing care model can promote the resolution of patient falls incidence. According to Aydin et al. (2015), spending more direct hours with patients is the simplest yet the most effective measure nurses can take.
Fox et al. (2013) remark that patient-centered care has the potential to decrease the risk of falls through evaluation. Particularly, a standardized assessment of patients’ cognitive and physical functioning within the first day of admission can alleviate the danger. Fox et al. (2013) emphasize that the assessment should focus on patients’ mobility, delirium risk, and falls risk. Also, scholars note that it is necessary for nurses to perform a daily examination of patients under the threat of developing patient falls.
In my experience, there was a case when patient-centered care helped to promote an elderly female patient’s well-being and reduced the risk for patient falls. The woman was 75 years old, and she spent several weeks at the hospital. During that time, I instructed her on safe walking habits and self-care measures. As a result, the patient moved around the ward and corridors with cautiousness and attention. No fall incidents were recorded, and she left the hospital with new skills that would help her remain more alert at home. Thus, the patient-centered care model can be successful in reducing the risk for patient falls.
Aydin, C., Donaldson, N., & Aronow, H. U. (2015). Improving hospital patient falls: Leveraging staffing characteristics and processes of care. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(5), 254-262.
Delaney, L. J. (2018). Patient-centered care as an approach to improving health care Australia. Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship & Research, 25(1), 119-123.
Fox, M. T., Sidani, S., Persaud, M., Tregunno, D., Maimets, I., Brooks, D., & O’Brien, K. (2013). Acute care for elders components of acute geriatric unit care: Systematic descriptive review. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 61(6), 939-946.