Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Administration, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Pace University.

Document Type



There have been a lot of studies over the past decade on patient falls, risk factors, and strategies for preventing the falls. However, these studies provide answers for long term care; acute care and community hospitals need more specific interventions. Falls and their consequences are important for patients and families, health care providers, insurance companies, state agencies, hospital accreditation, and others. Furthermore, they are causing psychological and physiological injuries among the patients, take a greater time to recover, prolong hospitalization [15 days in Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Western Australia, Province of British Columbia and Quebec in Canada )] and increase the health care costs. The advancement of the technology in the last few years can have a significant influence on improving the quality of care. The advantage is an increasing longevity of the population which on the other side comes with specific health issues. Sooner than expected, health care facilities will be confronted to meet the baby boomer wave and an aging population needs. Due to hospital closures and shortage of qualified nurses meeting these needs will impose even a greater pressure on delivering quality services with negative effects on efficiency of the health care system as a whole.

This study will examine the patient falls and the compliance with the fall prevention policy at The Mount Vernon Hospital. Specifically, the research will attempt to identify the patients at risk of falling, to evaluate the plan of care instituted by the nursing staff in order to prevent falls from happening, and the compliance of the nursing staff with the existing policy/procedure. Data will be gathered to analyze the following questions:

1. What are the factors that trigger falls?

2.What is the hospital’s fall prevention policy toward interventions to prevent falls from occurring?

3. How well is the hospital staff complying with the fall prevention policy?

4. How effective has health policy interventions been in reducing hospital falls?