Fall Reduction in a Behavioral Health Setting
Inpatient fall rates have been a concern at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital (Beckley ARH) for many years.
In 2015, a project was launched in order to evaluate and trend the falls that occurred in the Behavioral Science
Center (BSC).1 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System found that Beckley falls in the BSC were above
the system benchmark of 4.91 falls per 1,000 bed days. Beckley ARH fall rates were 6.15 falls per 1,000 bed
days. A Falls Committee was formed and tasked to bring falls under the health system benchmark
The Falls Committee concluded that the hiring of additional personal care assistants would have the greatest and
quickest impact on these totals. This influx of staff helped reduce falls to 4.35 per 1,000 bed days. While this
reduction improved falls data dramatically, the Committee was not satisfied. Deeper investigation found an
additional resource that promised to improve falls data further. The committee reached out to Beckley ARH’s
local bed sales rep, who suggested trialing a fully adjustable, ligature-resistant behavioral health bed frame.
The bed’s 7.5” low deck is designed to reduce the number of patient falls, and lessen chances of injury if falls
do occur.2, 3
After a successful trial, the BSC purchased 26 of the behavioral health bed frames. The combination of additional
staff and the new beds brought the BSC’s numbers to an all-time low of 2.05 falls per 1,000 bed days in Q2 2017.
The new policies at Beckley ARH were proven to be effective in reducing falls and increasing patient safety in
the BSC. Focus on patient safety, reduction of falls, and injuries related to falls remains a priority
throughout the ARH system, as we push for even lower fall rates.
About the Authors
Jeffrey Lilly, RN
Jeff is Director of Behavioral Sciences and Psychiatry at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital
in Beckley, WV. He oversees the daily operations of a 60-bed psychiatric facility with 90 staff.
Jeff’s prior experience included seven years as a US Army combat medical specialist and
deployment during Operation Desert Storm. email@example.com
Teresa McKenney, BA, RN, CWCN
Teresa is a Clinical Liaison at Sizewise, a certified CWCN, and a member of the NPUAP’s
education committee. Prior to joining Sizewise, she worked for a major GPO. Teresa has 10
years’ bedside wound care experience. firstname.lastname@example.org