Falls

The Safety Thermometer asks you to record the severity of any fall that the patient has experienced within the previous 72 hours in a care setting (including home if the patient is on a district nursing caseload). A fall is defined as an unplanned or unintentional descent to the floor, with or without injury, regardless of cause (slip, trip, fall from a bed or chair, whether assisted or unassisted). Patients ‘found on the floor’ should be assumed as having fallen, unless confirmed as an intentional act.

 

In the ‘Fall’ column, record the severity of the fall using the drop down menu provided. If the patient did not experience a fall, choose the ‘No Fall’ option from the drop down menu. The severity of the fall is defined in accordance with NRLS categories:

  • No Harm
    • Fall occurred but with no harm to the patient
  • Low Harm
    • Patient required first aid, minor treatment, extra observation or medication.
  • Moderate Harm
    • Likely to require outpatient treatment, admission to hospital, surgery or a longer stay in hospital
  • Severe Harm
    • Permanent harm, such as brain damage or disability, was likely to result
  • Death
    • Where death was the direct result of the fall

 

This data enables the calculation of the following indicators:

  • F1:
    • The proportion of patients with evidence of a fall in a care setting in the last 72 hours, from discussion with the patient and review of clinical notes reviewed on the day of survey.
  • F2:
    • The proportion of patients with evidence of harm from a fall in a care setting in the last 72 hours, from discussion with the patient and review of clinical notes reviewed on the day of survey. Each of these measures can be viewed by harm severity.