Falls Prevention Program

The falls prevention program at The University of Kansas Health System was created to minimize patient fall risks and reduce injuries. The program is part of our commitment to patient safety and includes collaboration between nurses, patients and their families. Our goal is to have no patient injured as the result of a fall. Working together, we can prevent falls and keep you safe.

Our focus on your safety is just one distinction that makes The University of Kansas Hospital exceptional. See for yourself why we have been named the best hospital in the region by U.S. News & World Report. Request your appointment online or call us at 913-588-1227, or toll free at 844-323-1227.

About patient falls

The impact of falls can be devastating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20-30 percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries. These may include traumatic brain injuries, hip fractures and lacerations. Injuries from falls can increase a patient's pain and prolong a hospital stay.

There are many factors that can increase a patient's risk of a fall, including:

  • Medications that cause dizziness, fatigue or confusion, which can impair judgment
  • IV lines, oxygen or other tubes that become tangled
  • Being in an unfamiliar location
  • Weakness from illness and/or procedures
  • Falling previously

Reducing patient falls and injuries

As part of our health system's best practices, we've teamed up with patients and their families to prevent falls. Communication is important. Patients are encouraged not to take chances and to ask for help when they need it.

When patients push the call button, we'll respond promptly to help them get out of bed or offer any other assistance. Patients who are especially at risk may have a "high/low bed" that can be lowered close to the floor, which helps prevent them from falling.

Family members are encouraged to stay with their loved ones as much as possible. They provide important extra monitoring, support and insight. And we are happy to support their needs during the time they spend with their loved ones.

A proactive approach

To keep our patients safe during their stay, we provide the following items to those who are at high risk for falls:

  • A yellow arm band
  • A bed alarm
  • A chair alarm
  • Skid-proof socks
  • A "high fall risk" sign on their door

Some areas of the health system have reduced fall-related injuries with frequent rounds to address patient concerns. Others have posted stop signs outside rooms of patients considered to be at high risk for falls. Several units are now testing low beds, floor pads and equipment that help with patient lifts and transfers.