Transforming Traditional Models of Fall Prevention Through The Power of Prescriptive Analytics

El Camino Hospital

August 31, 2015 – El Camino Hospital embarked on a mission last December to reach the ultimate goal of patient safety: zero falls. By utilizing insights from analyticsMD, a leading prescriptive analytics firm, a multi-disciplinary care team complemented the prescriptive analytics platform with multi-modal changes in communication and education, reducing patient falls by 39% in just six months.

“Fall prevention is a critical part of our focus to ensure we maintain leadership in patient safety, and taking advantage of our own data was a key part to unlocking our potential impact with this initiative” said Chris Pratt, senior director of performance improvement at El Camino Hospital.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, between 700,000 and 1,000,000 patients in the United States fall in the hospital each year. These generally result in fractures, lacerations, or internal bleeding, leading to further complications. Per a report published by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, studies indicate that between 30% to 35% of patients who fall sustain an injury and each of these injuries, on average, add 6.3 days to the hospital stay cost around  $14,000.

“We needed a way to be more proactive in our approach to mitigate patient falls. We decided to re-evaluate the causes for our falls and implement strategies that are tailored to challenge our traditional approach. With the help of increased cultural awareness for fall prevention, we could identify the most efficient and effective methods of prevention such as enabling new protocols and tools such as prescriptive analytics” said Suann Schutt, clinical program manager at El Camino Hospital.

Traditional falls prevention methodology is reactive in nature and most fall assessments lack patient context in real time. Providers utilize a combination of increasing bedside alerts and staffing to reduce falls often, an approach that yields minimal success. A study by the University of Texas Medical School at Houston even found that traditional fall prevention programs, including patient education, vision assessments, and walking aids, did not reduce the fall rate among hospital inpatients.

With the help of analyticsMD’s Patient Falls Prevention platform, the clinical teams at El Camino Hospital introduced a new proactive method for fall prevention. El Camino Hospital’s Performance Improvement teams worked with analyticsMD to evaluate data inputs from multiple sources (for example, call button and bed movement data) in real time, and then could apply advanced algorithms to predict exactly which patients were at risk for an imminent fall. Care teams were alerted of at-risk patients in real-time through wireless communication devices such as Vocera, and could then take immediate action prior to the potential injury or fall. The result: since the inception of the entire fall prevention program in December of last year, El Camino Hospital experienced a 39% reduction in falls within a six month period.

From a care team perspective, Meriam Signo, nursing manager at El Camino Hospital said “analyticsMD’s predictions helped us gain even more situational awareness over the patient in our units. The predictions allowed us to intervene with the right patients at the right time – which is really important given the dynamic pace & long list of priorities on the floor to enable a safe and high quality environment.”

To continue the impact of this innovative platform, El Camino Hospital is using analyticsMD’s technology to enhance patient satisfaction, improve patient flow and accelerate efficiency in the Emergency Room and the Operating Room.

Adding to the successful outcomes of the program, Cheryl Reinking, Chief Nursing Officer of El Camino Hospital said “We are very excited by the innovation and commitment to excellence here at El Camino Hospital, it just speaks to the caliber of the best-in-class team of nurses, physicians, and staff members and the spirit of patient-centered care at the heart of everything that we do here.”

About analyticsMD

analyticsMD (www.analyticsMD.com) is a technology firm based in Silicon Valley, California focused on performance improvement initiatives for leading hospitals and healthcare providers. analyticsMD’s platform enables prescriptive solutions by assisting staff in real time to advance efficiency in areas such as the Emergency Room or the Operating Room, enhance patient safety,  and elevate patient experience.

About El Camino Hospital

El Camino Hospital is an acute-care, 443-bed, nonprofit and locally governed organization with campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos, Calif. Key medical specialties include cancer, heart and vascular, men’s health, mental health, neuroscience, orthopedic and spine, senior health, urology, and the first Women’s Hospital in Northern California. The hospital is recognized as a national leader in the use of health information technology and wireless communications, and has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center as well as three consecutive ANCC Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Care.


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