Fall Reduction Program - Definition of a Fall (HAP/CAH)

Is there a standard definition of a patient/resident fall or does each organization need to define it?

No, the glossary of the accreditation manual does not provide an official definition of a 'fall'. For consideration, a fall may be described as  an unintentional change in position coming to rest on the ground, floor, or onto the next lower surface (e.g. onto a bed, chair or bedside mat). The fall may be witnessed, reported by a patient, an observer, or identified when the patient is found on the floor or ground. Falls include any fall whether it occurred at home, out in the community, in an acute hospital, or ambulatory setting.  Organizations are encouraged to check with their state to determine if any law/regulation exists that formally define a 'fall' within the individual state.

Additional Resources:
Zero falls ? It's Possible.
Sentinel Event Alert: Preventing Falls and Fall-related Injuries in Health Care Facilities
Targeted Solutions Tools for Preventing Falls

Last updated on August 28, 2017
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: Provision of Care Treatment and Services PC

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