Date of Award
Final DNP Paper
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Family Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Douglas J. Stephens
Ms. Sherichia Hardy
Ms. Sherichia Hardy
Background: A fall is defined as an event that results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground, floor, or other lower levels (World Health Organization, 2022). Nationally the incidence of falls among older adults has steadily increased over the last ten years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Falls among older adults aged 65 years and older caused over 34,000 deaths in 2019, making it the leading cause of injury contributing to death for that group" (CDC, 2019, para 1). These individuals who fall for the first time often have another fall unless modifiable fall risks are decreased. This quality improvement project occurred in the geriatric emergency department, where approximately one in three patients aged 65 and older present with a fall.
Purpose: This quality improvement project aims to implement the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death, and Injury (STEADI) program in the geriatric emergency department (ED) to provide a fall prevention platform for nurses and bring awareness of fall prevention strategies to mitigate fall readmissions into the ED.
Methods: This project was a quality improvement project utilizing a fall prevention program for older adult patients presenting to the emergency department. Educational sessions were held in person and virtually to implement a fall prevention program in a geriatric emergency department. A fall knowledge questionnaire was administered to nurses in the emergency department to assess general knowledge of fall prevention. Audits were completed at 30 and 60-day intervals post-STEADI to assess fall occurrence following being provided STEADI fall prevention resources.
Results: Findings from the pre and post-test demonstrated that the emergency department nurses' awareness of fall prevention improved, and their adherence to educating patients resulted in decreased falls. Results from the 30 and 60-day follow-up audit demonstrated that less than 1% of patients’ post-implementation was readmitted to the emergency department.
Conclusion: Nursing Implications: Implementing the STEADI Program in the emergency department provided an evidence-based platform for the nursing staff to utilize to mitigate falls and readmissions into the department. This program afforded the emergency department staff a means to provide compassionate, quality patient care while teaching fall prevention. Although this program provided these nurses with an excellent tool for fall prevention teaching, the study's limitations were impacted due to the time constraints.
Woods, Edmond M., "Empowering Emergency Department Nurses to Utilize the STEADI Program for Fall Prevention" (2022). Doctor of Nursing Practice Projects. 85.