Background: Patient falls are a common, adverse event in hospitals that may result in economic and care burdens on the patient and his/her family afterward. Purpose: To analyze the factors that relate to falls among inpatients and to estimate the associated days of hospitalization and medical costs. Methods: The present study used a retrospective matched case-control design to analyze inpatient fall data for 2009 to 2011 from a regional teaching hospital in northern Taipei. We matched fallers and controls according to gender, age ± 5 years, and ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification) code. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: A total of 160 inpatients participated in the present study (80 fallers in the fall group and 80 nonfallers in the control group). The results revealed that fallers had more previous fall experiences and longer hospital stay than nonfallers. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the risk factors that were significantly associated with inpatient falls included: no family accompaniment, use of more than 3 fall-related medications, and no intravenous catheter placement. Results further found that medical costs increased with the degree of injury. Third-degree injuries bore the highest post-fall medical costs of all of the injury-degree categories. The average medical cost for patients with third-degree injuries was 18,257 New Taiwan dollars. Conclusion / Implications for Practice: The findings provide a reference for hospitals to promote patient safety, to prevent the occurrence of inpatient falls, and, ultimately, to reduce fall-associated medical costs.
- Medical costs
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