The economics of preventing hospital falls: demonstrating ROI through a simple model

J Nurs Adm. 2015 Jan;45(1):50-7. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000154.


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the cost savings associated with implementing nursing approaches to prevent in-hospital falls.

Background: Hospital rating programs often report fall rates, and performance-based payment systems force hospitals to bear the costs of treating patients after falls. Some interventions have been demonstrated as effective for falls prevention.

Methods: Costs of falls-prevention programs, financial savings associated with in-hospital falls reduction, and achievable fall rate improvement are measured using published literature. Net costs are calculated for implementing a falls-prevention program as compared with not making improvements in patient fall rates.

Results: Falls-prevention programs can reduce the cost of treatment, but in many scenarios, the costs of falls-prevention programs were greater than potential cost savings.

Conclusions: Falls-prevention programs need to be carefully targeted to patients at greatest risk in order to achieve cost savings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention / economics*
  • Accident Prevention / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidental Falls / economics*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Models, Economic*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Care Team / economics
  • Patient Safety / economics*
  • Patient Safety / statistics & numerical data
  • Safety Management / economics*
  • Safety Management / statistics & numerical data
  • United States