Date of Graduation

Winter 12-15-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Danijela Pavlic


An in-hospital fall is a devastating event for patients and care providers resulting in injuries, physiological and psychological patient declines, and sometimes deaths. Furthermore, fall related costs greatly increase hospitals’ expenses and cause massive distress to caregivers and health providers. Many patient-specific, organizational, and seemingly erratic factors contribute to the occurrence of in-hospital falls. Despite this, hospitals must undertake consistent evidence-based measures to prevent fall occurrences as much as possible.

The traditional nursing approach to falls prevention is not sufficient to control fall rates because the issue is too complex and must be approached from multiple perspectives rather than just nursing. Therefore, innovative practices and approaches were explored to provide additional fall preventive measures. International and local U.S. practices emphasize the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to falls prevention. This model includes multiple clinicians with diverse backgrounds, such as physicians, physical therapists, and pharmacists, who assess patient fall risks together and implement measures to effectively decrease the risks. Limited guidelines and lack of conclusive research about the interdisciplinary approach lead the team of Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader students to investigate the roles of multidisciplinary team members for falls prevention in great detail. As a result, a blueprint of team role descriptors was created and offered for implementation in the medical-surgical elderly client population unit.

This project provides innovative guidelines for falls prevention. These guidelines have the potential to decrease patient falls by 20-30 % in the hospital. This paper is particularly focused on the physician’s role in fall prevention. In addition, this paper represents a modified compilation of current innovative hospital practices and evidence-based research findings.