Fall Prevention in the Elderly: Analysis and Comprehensive Review of Methods Used in the Hospital and in the Home

J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 19, No 7, July 2011 Terry A. Clyburn, MD and John A. Heydemann, MD

Falls in the elderly are a significant problem both in and out of the hospital. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and the Fiscal Year 2009 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule, as outlined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, placed on hospitals the financial burden of fall prevention for falls (ie, hospital-acquired conditions) that could have been prevented by following evidence-based guidelines. Multifaceted and individualized programs have been created to prevent falls in the elderly. Many of these interventions are based on expert opinion and statistical trends. Our review of the literature revealed that the risk of fall is only slightly greater in the hospital environment than in the home and that there is no medical evidence that evidence-based guidelines are effective in fall prevention.

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