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 along with 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 and Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York to help patients and family members work with nurses and other health care providers to reduce falls in hospitals, through integrating use of health information technology. Specifically, we will provide a tablet (such as an iPad) at the bedside for patients and families to have secure access to their constantly updated safety plan. The plan would display fall risk factors and fall prevention interventions as tailored to the patient. 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 now designed a paper version  and developed electronic versions of the fall prevention education tool. All tools include a fall risk assessment and a personalized fall prevention plan done together by patients and nurses.

Currently we’re seeking continuous feedback from patient family advisory council members and patients at the bedside to improve the design and workflow of our electronic applications, both on a tablet and a smartphone. We’re also preparing to enroll 30 patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital beginning now as part of our pilot study to improve the functionalities of the electronic application.


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