Falls Prevention

In hospital, injuries from falls are one of the leading causes of harm and death experienced in older Australians (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Hospital-Acquired Complication: Falls resulting in fracture or intracranial injury 2018).   At Epworth we strive to help keep you safe from falls.  We achieve this through a number of initiatives, including:


  • Risk assessment. Your nurse will assess your risk of falling at least daily
  • Risk Reduction conversations. Your nurse will talk to you about your risk of falling and discuss strategies to prevent you from falling such as appropriate footwear, supervision in the bathroom, or use of an appropriate gait aid (such as a walking frame)
  • Hourly rounding.  In order to keep you safe, your nurse will ensure that your call bell is within reach, offer assistance with repositioning and toileting so that you remain safe
  • Preventative strategies. Your care team will discuss, and plan with you which strategies will may be helpful for you in reducing your risk of falling whilst in hospital


At Epworth, we take falls seriously and investigate each one to identify any learnings or opportunities for improvement to enhance the care we provide.  These learnings are then shared across the organisation through our Group Falls Prevention Committee. This Committee’s role is to ensure that the care we provide is evidence based, best practice and consistent.





What does this mean?

This means that since June 2014, the percentage of patients who have fallen during their admission has been relatively stable.  We participate in external benchmarking with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) every 6 months.  Since 2014, Epworth’s rate of falls was better than the average rate reported to ACHS in all reporting periods. 


Between Jan and June 2018, for every 1000 admissions, 4 patients sustained a fall whilst with us.    


Key initiatives implemented to reduce the risk of our patients sustaining a fall:


  • Rehabilitation falls bundle 2018. This project aims to increase patient awareness of their risk of fall and how they can help to reduce their chance of falling whilst in Rehabilitation.  The project also aims to improve staff knowledge and management of patients
  • Acute Falls bundle 2018.  After the success of the Rehabilitation falls bundle, the resources were adapted to meet the needs of the acute hospitals with the aim to increase patient awareness of their risk of fall and how they can help to reduce their chance of falling whilst in Rehabilitation.  The project also aims to improve staff knowledge and management of patients​