ASPHP February 2020 Newsletter

Editor: Beth Furlong, PhD, JD, RN

February 2020 Guest Column

Don’t Forget Falls Prevention
Ruth Francis, MPH, MCHES

In 2015 the American Nurses Association (ANA) marked the 20-year milestone of their work on nurse-sensitive indicator development that resulted in a report card demonstrating the role that nurses play in positive patient outcomes (ANA, 2015). At that time the following recommendations were introduced to prevent falls:

Assess patient risk
Take appropriate precautions
Create a falls prevention environment
Prevent injuries from patient falls
Develop a falls prevention roadmap

The ANA concluded that more work related to falls prevention remains, including research, documenting patient falls history, and educating the interdisciplinary team, for it takes a team to make a difference.

Fast forward to 2020, has anything improved? According to Weil (2015) patient falls continue to be a problem, with most incidents occurring near the bedside or the bathroom. The number of falls is increasing with between 700,000 to 1,000,000 falls in the hospital in the US/year with 30-35% sustaining an injury. Falls continues to be the leading cause of injury and death in older adults, costing an average of $15,000 per patient injury (AHA/TJC, 2016).

As the ANA focus shifts from falls prevention to encompassing falls with early mobility, safe patient handling and mobility and positive patient outcomes, what more needs to be done? Fridman (2019) suggests a proactive strategy with education, full cooperation and hourly rounding to decrease falls and promote patient safety. The Joint Commission (2016) concurs stating that a reduction in falls entails a significant change in practice that measures performance, identifies barriers and implements solutions. Results from using The Joint Commission’s tool shows a significant reduction in falls and injuries.

Regardless of our working setting we can all play a role in preventing falls. In her book 5 Easy Steps to Prevent Falls: The comprehensive guide to keeping patients of all ages safe, Deanna Gray-Miceli (2014) states that getting to the ‘why’ of a fall is rooted in a comprehensive post-fall assessment and leads to preventing the fall. Her steps are simple:

Step 1 – Eliciting a fall-focused health history
Recognize the situational context, incorporate history for at-risk patients for current falls, injuries and past falls.
Step 2 – Conducting a fall-focused physical assessment
Differentiate between the elements of a falls risk assessment and a comprehensive post falls analysis; recognize injuries through a post fall assessment; interpret findings alongside therapists.
Step 3 – Detecting environmental hazards and modifying the environment for patient and healthcare worker safety
Identify the elements of a culture of safety for patients and healthcare workers, expanding understanding of needs for patients and workers, and develop proactive measures for each health care setting.
Step 4 – Diagnosing the fall type and developing an interprofessional team plan of care
Diagnose and investigate health problems in the community, mobilize partners, and develop policies to support community health.
Step 5 – Informing, educating and empowering patients
Recognize the factors that influence adult learning; recognize the core ingredients of teaching and learn strategies to use teach-backs to empower patients.

Falls prevention is a multifaceted issue; our work is not done. As members of an interprofessional team, let us all strive to educate ourselves and empower our patients to prevent falls.

American Nurses Association. (2015). Focus on Falls Prevention. American Nurse Today. 10(7).
Fridman, V. (2019). Redesigning a fall prevention program in acute care: Building on evidence. Clinical Geriatric Medicine. 35(2): 265-271.
Gray-Miceli. D. (2014). 5 Easy Steps to Prevent Falls: The comprehensive guide to keeping patients of all ages safe. Silver Spring, Maryland;
The Joint Commission. (2016). Patient Falls: A systematic approach from the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare Project. TJC Publishing.
Weil, T.P. (2015). Patient falls in hospitals: An increasing problem. Geriatric Nursing. 36(5): 342-347.


Are you a grant writer? ASPHP needs your skill!

Are you a grant writer? ASPHP needs your skill!

The ASPHP Board is interested in pursuing grants to further their programming and
fulfilling their goals leading to universal safe patient handling and mobility. Can you:

  • Provide insight into appropriate grants?
  • Provide ASPHP with guidance for research?
  • Assist ASPHP in writing grants?

Contact ASPHP at

We’ve got Big News

We’ve got Big News

The ASPHP is pleased to announce that in addition to CEU contact hours for RNs and CSHP, Physical Therapy (PT) contact hours and Occupational Therapy (OT) contact hours will be granted for the 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event.

This is a wonderful way for registrants to receive up to 17 hours of discipline-specific units.
Please share this announcement with your therapy colleagues, attaching the link below.

Have you registered? If not, don’t delay. Online registration closes at 11:50 pm Eastern on Thursday February 27, 2020. No registration will be accepted by email/mail/fax after this date. Onsite registration starts at 7 am March 2, 2020 at the registration area.

For more information, visit
Come join us!

Register Now

The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board Seeks Public Comment

The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board Seeks Public Comment

The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board seeks public comment on the proposed position statements, Nurses Professional Responsibility to Promote Ethical Practice Environments and The Ethical Use of Restraints: Balancing Dual Nursing Duties of Patient Safety and Personal Safety. The deadline for comments is March 8, 2020.

Please use this opportunity to contribute to ANA’s focus on transparency and recognition of the important insights of public examination of its products. Please share this announcement with colleagues, students, health care consumers and other stakeholders. For questions regarding this position, please contact ANA Public Comment Website:

ASPHP Membership Meeting & Networking Reception

ASPHP Membership Meeting & Networking Reception

The ASPHP cordially invites all members and prospective members to join us for our Annual Meeting, which will be held during the 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event in San Diego, CA.
Come network with fellow association members, clinicians, administrators, sponsors and board members. Learn more about the present and future of the association and our efforts to improve safety for caregivers!

Date: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020
Location: Town and Country, San Diego, CA – Golden Ballroom.

Membership Meeting starts at 5:00 pm and follows with networking reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.
The Networking Reception is sponsored by Liberty Mutual and Guldmann.

We hope to see you there!

Upcoming ASPHP Webinar Series

Upcoming ASPHP Webinar Series

March 11th, 2020
Implementing the Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool
Amber Perez MHA, CSPHP

March 25th, 2020
Almost LIVE for 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event
Susan Gallagher, PhD, RN

ASPHP members, don’t forget to take advantage of our upcoming free webinars:
March 25, 2020 “Almost LIVE” from the 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event
June 17, 2020 Beyond the Lecture: Practical Tools when Training the Adult Learner
October 28, 2020 The All-New ANA Standards

HoverTech & P. X. Inc’s Continued Sponsorship

HoverTech & P. X. Inc’s Continued Sponsorship

The ASPHP’s Board of Directors thanks





for their continued sponsorship!