The National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI, 2020) defines a patient fall as an unplanned descent to the floor with or without injury. A fall occurs in 30%-50% of hospitalized patients with cancer in the United States (Jatoi, 2017). According to the Joint Commission (2015), the average cost of each fall with injury in the United States was about $14,000 to the healthcare system, averaging about $50 billion annually (Kartiko et al., 2020). Fall-related injuries to patients can result in additional treatment, hospital admissions, prolonged hospital stays, delays in cancer treatment, immobility, pain, emotional distress, caregiver fatigue, and depression (Joint Commission, 2015). Patients with cancer are highly susceptible to falls because of the neurologic deficits caused by chemotherapy treatments, medications given to prevent side effects, allergic reactions to the chemotherapy medications, increasing age, cognitive status, disease site, and cancer- and treatment-related fatigue (Jatoi, 2017). The high financial costs to patients and healthcare providers, as well as the physical and mental impact on patients, led to this pilot project.
Shah M. Patient Falls Prevention: Assessing the Use of an Innovative Color-Coded Flag System in an Outpatient Oncology Infusion Center. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2020;24(4):448-450. doi:10.1188/20.CJON.448-450