We are now part of Blackrock Health, Ireland's newest private hospital group. Click here to learn more

Patient Safety

Blackrock Clinic Patients Patient Safety

At Blackrock Clinic Keeping Our Patients Safe Is The Right Thing To Do!

Falls Awareness

Our aim is to reduce patient falls, in particular those that result in patient injury, through a falls prevention programme.

Falls prevention is becoming a very pressing risk management challenge for hospitals. Studies by “Olivet et al (2010)” state that the majority of hospital beds in developed nations are occupied by older people. With populations ageing, projected increases in the number of people surviving with functional and cognitive impairment and multiple long-term conditions, these trends are likely to continue.

In Ireland, older person admissions are considered a significant financial burden. A cost of about €10.8 million per year has been attributed to patients admitted to one Irish University teaching hospital (Cotter et al. 2012). This study also stated that there is a lack of cohesive falls prevention strategies at a national level.

Studies by “Kolin et al. (2010)” showed that on average:

  • 30% of all falls reported result in some form of injury.
  • Around 80% to 90% of falls in acute hospitals are un-witnessed.
  • 50% to 70% occur from the bed and bedside chair.
  • 10% to 20% of falls occur in toilets or bathrooms (Oliver et al, 2010).

All patients attending Blackrock Clinic are assessed and reassessed for a falls risk. This risk assessment provides a numeric value to the risk of that patient falling. In 2020 the Board of Blackrock Clinic set a benchmark of 0.30% fall rate for inpatients. This equates to 4 falls per 1000 bed nights.


When an inpatient sustains a fall, a Blackrock Clinic “Falls Reporting Form” is completed. The patient is assessed by the Hospital staff, who complete the “injury and cause” section of the form.

All forms are then sent to the Quality Department for input onto their system and analysis. The Quality Department validates by:

  • Cross reference to the medical record.
  • Cross reference to the patient information system.
  • Cross reference directly with the nursing staff.

Some of the strategies in place to help keep you safe and reduce your risk of falling:

  • A multidisciplinary falls group helps support staff in identifying strategies to reduce patient falls and any resulting injuries
  • Feedback on the breakdown of the falls is provided to staff
  • A ‘call don’t fall’ campaign is in place
  • A “Culture of Safety” video plays on the education channel in all patient rooms
  • A “Culture of safety” video link can be found on the Blackrock Clinic Website
  • A Multidisciplinary approach is in place to reduce our patients’ risk of falling and resultant injury.  All staff who enter a patients room ask whether:
  1. the patient needs to use the bathroom;
  2. they have everything they need within reach
  • The Universal Falls Protocol is in place

Outpatient Services Departments

Falls screening for outpatients occurs in our:

  • Emergency Department,
  • Minors procedure unit, and
  • Outpatients departments.

Posters can be found in all these locations so that patients can complete a self-assessment.

Blackrock Clinic staff are vigilant for patients requiring additional assistance.

If a patient is identified as being a falls risk, then a member of staff will implement a ‘Falls Prevention Plan’:

An orange ‘Falls Alert’ wristband is placed on the patient’s wrist. This wristband brings the clinical staff‘s attention to the positive screening for falls risk.

The patient is assisted in and out of treatment areas and guided to the nearest possible seat in treatment rooms or waiting areas.

The patient, and family members where appropriate, are advised to alert a member of staff if they are in need of assistance.

Please help us to help you by participating in the Falls Self-Assessment and alerting staff if you are at risk of falling.

Certain Procedures

Due to the nature of certain procedures assistance is provided as part of the protocol.

Blackrock Clinic Falls Statistics:

Year Falls (per 1,000 Bed Nights) as % Inpatient Days
2018 3.54
2019 3.83
2020 2.75