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National Patient Safety Foundation Awards Research Grant for Innovative Project Investigating Environmental Factors Involved in Patient Falls
Date:8/20/2013

Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 20, 2013

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) has awarded a $100,000 grant for an innovative patient safety research project that will examine the mechanisms underlying patient falls in the hospital and formulate recommendations for improved facility design. Led by principal investigator Debajyoti Pati, PhD, Rockwell Professor, Department of Design, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, this project brings together the perspectives of multiple disciplines, including architecture and design, classical mechanics, and nursing.

The goals of the study are to identify and examine elements of the physical environment of inpatient hospital rooms that may contribute to falls and to develop design recommendations that may help reduce fall risk.

Patient falls are among the most serious adverse events reported in US hospitals. An estimated 2% to 10% of hospital stays involve a fall, with 30% of these resulting in serious injury. While research into contributing factors has been fairly extensive, it has largely focused on patient-specific conditions, such as age, use of medications, and the presence of visual or other impairment. Dr. Pati’s study will focus on physical design factors, such as layout of rooms and bathrooms, fixtures, fittings and furnishings in the room, and available assistive devices. Specifically, the researchers seek to identify design elements that may contribute to falls when patients attempt to walk from the bed to the bathroom, and to rank the risks by importance.

“Almost all decisions pertaining to the physical environment of a hospital room are made during the design phase of a health care facility,” Dr. Pati said. “We intend to focus on factors that designers are able to manipulate that are associated with falls.”

“The NPSF Board of Direc
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