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The economics of preventing hospital falls: Demonstrating ROI through a simple model

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the cost savings associated with implementing nursing approaches to prevent in-hospital falls. BACKGROUND: Hospital rating programs often report fall rates, and performance-based payment systems force hospitals to bear the costs of treating patients after falls. Some interventions have been demonstrated as effective for falls prevention. METHODS: Costs of falls-prevention programs, financial savings associated with in-hospital falls reduction, and achievable fall rate improvement aremeasured using published literature. Net costs are calculated for implementing a falls-prevention program as compared with not making improvements in patient fall rates. RESULTS: Falls-prevention programs can reduce the cost of treatment, but in many scenarios, the costs of falls-prevention programs were greater than potential cost savings. CONCLUSIONS: Falls-prevention programs need to be carefully targeted to patients at greatest risk in order to achieve cost savings.

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Spetz, J., Brown, D. S., & Aydin, C. (2015). The economics of preventing hospital falls: Demonstrating ROI through a simple model. Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(1), 50–57. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000154

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