The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) has awarded a $100,000 grant for a patient safety research project that will examine the cause of hospital patient falls in the hospital and formulate recommendations for improved facility design, according to an article on the Digital Journal website.
The study will be led by Debajyoti Pati, PhD, Rockwell Professor, Department of Design, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University. The project will include input from a variety of disciplines, including architecture and design, classical mechanics and nursing.
According to the article, an estimated 2% to 10% of hospital stays involve a fall, with 30% of these resulting in serious injury. Past research has largely focused on age, use of medications, and visual or other impairment, but Pati’s study will focus on physical design factors, such as layout of rooms and bathrooms, fixtures, fittings and furnishings in the room, and available assistive devices. The study will try to identify design elements that may contribute to falls when patients attempt to walk from the bed to the bathroom, and to rank the risks by importance.
"Almost all decisions pertaining to the physical environment of a hospital room are made during the design phase of a health care facility," Pati said. "We intend to focus on factors that designers are able to manipulate that are associated with falls."
Read the article.