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Knowledge Repository

Characteristics and circumstances of falls in a hospital setting

Author(s): Hitcho, E., Krauss, M., Birge, S., Dunagan, W., Fischer, I., Johnson, S., Nast, P. A., Costantinou, E., Fraser, V. J.
Patient falls refer to patients’ unplanned descent to the floor with or without injuries to the patients. Patient falls are common for inpatients, averaging 2.3 to 7 falls per 1,000 patient days. About 30% of the falls lead to injuries, which contribute to higher healthcare cost. In order to prevent falls, it is very important to understand the epidemiology of patient falls, including the characteristics of fallers, the distribution and patterns of falls, contributing factors, and fall-related injuries.
Key Point Summary
Added August 2012

Can flooring and underlay materials reduce hip fractures in older people?

Author(s): Minns, J.
Falls resulting in fracture of the hip in older people are a major health problem worldwide. Flooring that is slippery and unsuitable footwear are other major factors contributing to the onset of fractures in the home. Building design should incorporate measures to minimize the risk of falls.
Key Point Summary
Added November 2014

Work Stressors and the Quality of Life in Long-Term Care Units

Author(s): Pekkarinen, L., Sinervo, T., Perala, M. L., Elovainio, M.
Research suggests that work stress adversely affects healthcare staff job performance. And this in turn can influence patients’ quality of care or quality of life. 
Key Point Summary
Added May 2014

Why the elderly fall in residential care facilities,and suggested remedies

Author(s): Kallin, K., Jensen, J., Olsson, L. L., Nyberg, L., Gustafson, Y.
Falls and their consequences—such as fractures and other injuries, fear of falling, impaired functions, and dependency—are serious health problems in the older population. Older people living in residential care facilities and those receiving long-term institutional care seem particularly prone to falling and fractures caused by falls. Almost half of all patients with hip fractures in Umea, Sweden, during the 1980s and the 1990s lived in residential care facilities, although fewer than 10 percent of the elderly population lived in such accommodations.  Falls among people aged 60 and older have been estimated to account for one-third of the total cost of medical treatment for all injuries in the Swedish population.
Key Point Summary
Added August 2014

Wayfinding in an Unfamiliar Environment: Different Spatial Settings of Two Polyclinics

Author(s): Baskaya, A., Wilson, C., Ozcan, Y. Z.
People in healthcare facilities should be able to find their way easily through the structure. If they can’t, they experience stress. Symmetrical layouts, in which spaces with particular functions, for example waiting areas for a certain clinic, are distinguished in some way from other similar spaces, through the use of a landmark such as a particular color on the walls, are an effective design for a healthcare facility because they support accurate navigation through the building.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Use of Mechanical Patient Lifts Decreased Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Injuries Among Health Care Workers

Author(s): Li, J., Wolf, L., Evanoff, B.
Healthcare workers experience high rates of work-related musculoskeletal injuries, which are often the result of the frequent patient lifting and transferring required of healthcare workers. Studies suggest that mechanical patient lifts can help reduce musculoskeletal injury rates.
Key Point Summary
Added July 2014

Evaluation of the built environment at a Children's Convalescent Hospital: Development of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (TM) parent and staff satisfaction measures for pediatric health care facilities

Author(s): Varni J. W., Burwinkle T. M., Dickinson P., Sherman S. A., Dixon P., Ervice J. A., Leyden P. A., Sadler B. L.
The expectation that the hospital built environment may affect the health and satisfaction of patients and their families continues to interest health care providers and hospital administrators as they differentiate and distinguish the quality and health outcomes of their services. In preparation for the design, construction, and postoccupancy evaluation of a new Children’s Convalescent Hospital, focus groups were conducted and measurement instruments were developed to quantify and characterize parent and staff satisfaction with the built environment of an existing pediatric health care facility, a 30-year-old, 59-bed, long-term, skilled nursing facility dedicated to the care of medically fragile children with complex chronic conditions. The measurement instruments were designed in close collaboration with parents, staff, and senior management involved with the existing and planned facility.
Key Point Summary
Added October 2012

Evidence-based design for infants and staff in the neonatal intensive care unit

Author(s): Shepley, M. M.
There has been a marked increase in evidence-based studies relating to neonatal intensive care units in pediatric healthcare literature. While it is acknowledged that clinical, operational, and social dimensions play the most significant role in healing, the physical environment has also been universally identified as a critical factor. Conscientious architects are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of design decisions on the sensory environment of the neonatal intensive care unit.
Key Point Summary
Added July 2014

Interventions for the prevention of falls in older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Author(s): Chang, J.T., Morton, S.C, Rubenstein, L. Z., Mojica, W.A., Maglione, M., Suttorp, M.J., Shekelle, P. G.
Falls are a major health concern for older adults worldwide, not only because of the potential for fractures and head injuries, but also for the emotional toll—the fear and anxiety—that can develop as a result of an injury or close call. While the literature on fall interventions is vast, there is limited understanding about the best methods for preventing falls. The authors conducted an extensive review and analysis of relevant, rigorous research trials to assess the relative effectiveness of different types of fall interventions. Under comparison were falls risk assessment and management programs, exercise programs, environmental modification programs, and educational interventions.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Violence In Healthcare Facilities: Lessons From the Veterans Health Administration

Author(s): Hodgson, M.J. , Reed, R., Craig,T., Murphy, F., Lehmann, L., Belton, L., Warren, N.
The authors examined assault frequency and risk factors in healthcare.
Key Point Summary
Added May 2014