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UM-Led Nursing Team Gets $300k Grant To Reduce Falls in Hospitals

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Accidental falls are the most commonly reported patient safety incident in hospitals. Up to one in ten in-hospital falls results in injury or death. Experts agree that programs that are tailored to individual patients’ risks of falling are most effective, but very few hospitals have adopted such programs. Now, a multidisciplinary team of researchers, headed by Marita Titler, professor and associate dean at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Paul Conlon, senior vice president for clinical quality and patient safety at Trinity Health in Novi, has received a $300,000 18-month grant to test fall prevention interventions tailored to patients’ risks for falls. 
 
The study will involve three Michigan community hospitals which will implement processes to address multiple patient-specific factors that can contribute to and put patients at risk for falls, creating a “targeted risk factor fall prevention bundle” for each patient.  Researchers will compare fall rates, fall injury rates and types of injuries from falls prior to, during and after the bundles are implemented.  They will also evaluate how well the programs were adopted in the hospitals and identify the barriers to implementing these interventions, as well as the factors that facilitate implementation.  A tool kit to help other health care providers implement targeted risk factor fall prevention bundles will be posted on web sites.
 
This is one of six grants announced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created INQRI in order to address gaps in knowledge about nursing’s effect on quality of care and to leverage opportunities for research that would identify nurses’ contributions to improving patients’ health and safety. This is the fifth cohort of INQRI grantees.
 
Over the past four years, INQRI grants have supported research to establish links between nursing and the quality of care delivered to people within and across a variety of health care settings. Each new INQRI research team receives an 18-month grant of up to $300,000 to support a project that explores the relationship between nursing and health care with a focus on developing evidence on how to disseminate and implement programs that are known to be effective. INQRI will share the results of this research with policy-makers, hospital administrators and others who make decisions about how nursing resources are distributed to improve quality and patient outcomes.
 
“We are very excited about the potential contributions of this year’s cohort of grantees,” said INQRI Program Director Mary D. Naylor, who is the Marian S. Ware professor in Gerontology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, which administers the program. “Nurses represent the single largest group of health professionals delivering hospital care, but our knowledge of their contributions to ensuring that care is safe, beneficial, patient-centered, efficient and equitable is woefully inadequate. INQRI is working to change that. This year’s grantees will help us disseminate proven nurse-led interventions and implement successful programs in new settings to improve patient safety and health care quality. This work falls directly in line with the recent recommendations of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine.”
 
On Oct. 5, the Institute of Medicine released a landmark report called “The Future of Nursing.” The report’s recommendations include fostering interprofessional collaboration and preparing and enabling nurses to lead change. By requiring research teams to include a nurse scholar and at least one scholar from another discipline, INQRI not only fosters interprofessional collaboration, the Initiative also ensures that diverse perspectives are brought to bear in research. 
 
This year’s INQRI grantees are working on a wide range of research projects from designing a nurse manager development program to increase patient safety, to testing a nursing intervention using a substance abuse screening tool, to implementing a fall prevention program targeted to patient risk factors. All of the projects address creation, implementation and dissemination of plans, protocols, policies and resources.
 
More at www.inqri.org.

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