Technology and building design: initiatives to reduce inpatient falls among the elderly.
Authors: Hignett S
This paper offers a narrative exploration of interventions for inpatient falls among the elderly with respect to the design of technology (equipment and furniture) and buildings. Most of the contributory risk factors for inpatient falls among the elderly were identified in the 1950s, but incident and injury rates remain relatively unchanged in the 2000s. Interventions have predominantly focused on staff and organizational changes, for example monitoring (observation) and communication, possibly in response to increased patient privacy (isolation) in single rooms. The clinical response has been to modify the patient by means of medication review, continence management, and impact protectors. This paper considers whether technology and building design have helped or hindered the newly admitted frail and/or confused elderly patient at risk of falling, assuming the provision of good nursing and medical practice (e.g., observation, treatment, and care).
PMID: 21165854 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]