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Pharmacy Fall Prevention Policy
Mercy Health Center of Oklahoma City, OK, uses this pharmacy fall prevention policy as part of its successful falls prevention program. The policy is reprinted with permission from Burl Beasley, RPh, MPH, medication safety coordinator for the health center.
Pharmacy Fall Prevention Strategy
Purpose: To provide an ongoing service for the review and monitoring of medications or hospitalized patients as related to risk for fall. This is a requirement of the Joint Commission of Oakbrook Terrace, IL, patient safety goal to reduce risk of harm resulting from falls. The Medication Fall Scale will be implemented to meet this requirement and will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Background: Falls are among the most common serious problems in elderly persons. Falls account for > 5% of hospital visits and > 10% of emergency department visits. Falls result from an interaction of multiple intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors. Intrinsic factors include: lower extremity weakness, poor grip strength, balance disorder, visual and cognitive impairment. Extrinsic factors include: polypharmacy (> 4 medications) and environmental factors. The Medication Fall Score was developed using multiple resources and references to summarize patient medications into a single numeric value. Based on this value, the Pharmacy Department will review patient medication records and make recommendations per policy. By implementing this policy the goal is to reduce falls as related to medications, thereby improving quality of care.