An Evidenced-Based Approach to Fall Risk Assessment and Management in an Outpatient Imaging Center: Morse Fall Scale

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Dalphany Blalock, MSN, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria, TX, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this evidenced-based project is to explore the use of the Morse Fall Scale (MFS) risk assessment tool as an intervention to decrease patient falls in an out-patient imaging center.

Significance: Falls pose serious consequences to patients, healthcare providers, and society in general, as they lead to serious injuries such as head trauma, fractures, and even death (Johnson, et al., 2011). In addition to the physical impact on the patient’s overall well-being and their families, there is an enormous financial burden to them and society in general. Direct medical care costs imposed on healthcare organizations is forecasted to reach an excess of $43 billion dollars by year 2020 (Johnson et al., 2011).  Added to that mix is the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) initiative for patient safety.

Literature review: A literature review using systematically reviewed data (Level I/II) was implemented to determine best practices for reducing fall incidences in an out-patient imaging setting. 

Results: After two months of using the MFS, 550 patients were examined and 416 of those patients, 76% of the population, scored a zero risk for falls. However, 87 patients, 16% scored low risk, and 47 patients, 9% scored high risk for falls. In that initial two month assessment, one-fourth of the patient population assessed is at risk for falls, implicating a need for a standard tool to assess for falls and a policy and procedure to reduce falls and promote safety.   

Conclusion: Will continue to monitor for fall risk for six months and implement a policy based on the efficacy of the Evidence-based practice project.