How UTSW Ensures Patient Safety – Preventing Patient Falls

When patients are in a weakened state due to illness, injury, or surgery, they are at risk of falling when they move around the hospital. Fall prevention programs can be an effective way to reduce the risk of patients falling and sustaining injuries.

Why Is This Important?

Patient falls in a hospital may result in injury or even death. A patient fall is counted when any patient has an unplanned descent to the floor, with or without injury. A minor injury can result in bruising, abrasions, pain, cuts, and lacerations. Major injuries could include fractures, dislocations, and head injuries.

UTSW considers fall prevention an important part of its patient safety efforts and has in place a fall prevention program to reduce the number of falls and injuries. 

Annual Patient Falls with Major and Minor Injury

A lower number is better with this measure.

What Does This Graph Show?

The graph illustrates, by year, the number of patient falls with injuries in UTSW hospitals and clinics. Numbers are shown for both minor and major injuries.

We believe this number is still too high. UT Southwestern has started a comprehensive prevention program aimed at reducing the number of falls.