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Using a checklist to evaluate hospitalized patients who suffer a fall

Using a checklist to evaluate hospitalized patients who suffer a fall

University of New Mexico School of Medicine
J Rush Pierce Jr, FACN, Deirdre Kearney, FACN, Ethan Cumbler, FACN
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

This 45 minute Power Point presentation is designed to provide trainees and practicing hospitalists with an approach to the evaluation of hospitalized patients who fall. It was originally developed to provide advice to interns and residents at the University of New Mexico upon implementation of our hospital’s multidisciplinary falls prevention program.  It is case-based, includes a brief review of the evidenced-based literature, and then gives the authors’ opinions about how best to approach this situation. Also included is a list of pertinent literature and a multidisciplinary checklist, developed by the authors and used at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Educational objectives: 

1. Identify at least 3 factors that are epidemiologically associated with falls in the elderly.

2. State the most common etiology of falling in the elderly.

3. Summarize the epidemiology of in-patient falls.

4. Describe the three steps in evaluating the in-patient who  falls

5. Demonstrate an appropriate bedside evaluation for injury of an in-patient who has fallen. 

6. Demonstrate how a multi-disciplinary team can use a checklist to evaluate and manage a hospitalized patient who has fallen.

Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

This presentation was specifically designed for the in-patient hospital setting. The authors do not advocate using this approach in other settings (such as emergency departments, skilled nursing facilities, or nursing homes). Many of the recommendations are based on the authors’ opinions as there is little-evidenced based literature in this area. The authors are formally studying the clinical usefulness of the checklist, and are especially interested in comments, critical appraisals, and similar experience of others. Contact the authors at

Learning resource types: 
Estimated time to complete: 
45 minutes
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: 
No, I (we) have nothing to disclose.
Already Expired Email Date: 
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 12:01am
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Monday, September 21, 2020 - 11:15am
Expires 6mos Email Date: 
Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 12:09pm
Expired Email Date: 
Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 1:40pm
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
J Rush Pierce Jr

Suggested Citation:
J Rush Pierce Jr, Deirdre Kearney and Ethan Cumbler. Using a checklist to evaluate hospitalized patients who suffer a fall. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2016 Available from: