The sector speaks: New research shows patient education can reduce hospital falls by up to 50%

Anne-Marie Hill, University of Notre Dame Australia


Preventing falls is a high priority for older people and their health care team as unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations in Australia.1 In Australia 91% of hip fractures are associated with a fall2 and one year following hip fracture approximately half these patients are unable to walk independently.

Clinicians and researchers are now aware that falls are the most common adverse events reported in hospitals with Australian and UK research showing that one third of reported patient safety incidents are due to slips, trips and falls, with older patients significantly more likely to fall.3 When older people fall over in hospital up to 30% sustain a physical injury, compared to falls-related injuries sustained in the community where approximately 10% of falls cause injury.