Impact of Healthcare Environmental Design on Patient Falls

Jan 01, 2008

Falls in healthcare settings are a frequent occurrence, costing approximately $3.6 billion annually and having significant negative outcomes for fallers.The physical environment is an often-overlooked factor that can serve either to increase risk or mitigate risk. A literature review was conducted to explore environmental correlates of falls in healthcare settings. Information was categorized according to four environmental factors that emerged as common across healthcare populations and settings: (a) spatial organization, (b) interior characteristics, (c) sensory attributes, and (d) use of environment. While the quality of some of the information is well-grounded, much of it requires interpolation or further study because specific characteristics of the physical environment are either poorly articulated or missing altogether.

Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi, Ph.D.
Margaret P. Calkins, Ph.D.
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The Center for Health Design

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