Impact of Healthcare Environmental Design on Patient Falls
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.