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Q&A: Reducing patient falls, saving money

An unwanted outcome when moving or lifting patients (see page XYZ) is the risk of falls. Despite best efforts,  hundreds of thousands of patients fall in hospitals every year, with 30%–35% sustaining an injury.

Since patient falls are considered a never event, CMS won’t reimburse hospitals for falls and related treatment—meaning facilities find themselves on the hook for an average of $14,056 for a fall with injury and 6.3 extra days of hospital stay.

We spoke with Klaus Nether, executive director of high reliability product delivery at The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, about what the Center has learned about patient falls, and how to address them. This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity.

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