FALL T.I.P.S. (Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety)


Falls are the most common cause of injury in older adults. The experience of being hospitalized puts adults at further risk for falls because of illness and the newness of the hospital environment. Unfamiliar surroundings, medications and treatments given in the hospital setting, and a decrease in activity level can cause patients to become mentally confused, weak and unsteady. Even patients who were active and independent at home may require assistance to safely complete simple activities while they are in the hospital, such as such as getting out of bed or using the bathroom. 

This webpage gives you an overview of a study that is currently underway at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York. In this study we aim to help patients and family members work with nurses and other health care providers to reduce falls in hospital through leveraging health information technology to engage patients and families in the three step fall prevention process. We provide a tablet (such as an iPad) at the bedside for patients and families to have secure access to their real-time safety plan. This displays the fall risk factors and tailored fall prevention interventions as well as educational content. We have also developed a paper tool that communicates the personalized fall prevention plan to all members of the care team, including patients and families. This research study is titled Patient-Centered Fall Prevention Toolkit and is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). 


1) To develop an electronic toolkit that engages all stakeholders including patients, families, and nurses in fall prevention
2) To implement a paper version of the toolkit for patients and families who choose not to use the electronic device at the bedside
3) To reduce preventable falls and fall injuries through the implementation of the electronic toolkit and/or paper tool.


Current Work Underway
We have iteratively developed and finalized both the paper and electronic versions of the Fall TIPS tool. All personalized fall prevention tools include a fall risk assessment and the corresponding evidence-based interventions which are determined by the patient and nurse at the bedside. 

We have finished pilot-testing the toolkit and preliminary data demonstrates a correlation between use of the tool and a decrease in fall and fall with injury rates. We are now live on three Neurology and two Medicine units in the Main Trial phase of the study. We are seeking continuous feedback from patient family advisory council members and patients at the bedside to improve the design and workflow of our electronic applications. 


Thank you for visiting our webpage. You may contact the investigator on this project, Patricia Dykes at pdykes@partners.org or 617-732-8925 if you have any questions.


This project is supported by grant number P30HS023535 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. | © 2015