Thursday, June 4, 2009

Doctors Say Some Falls Not Preventable

In the Boston Globe White Coat Notes blog, Elizabeth Cooney wrote that "in October, the federal government stopped paying hospitals for extra care if a fall is deemed preventable." But, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Sharon K. Inouye, of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, "argue that because falls have proved to be such an intractable problem despite broad efforts to reduce them, they should not be included on a list of avoidable medical errors that result in hospitals not being paid." The paper contends that "falls can happen despite the best hospital care." The authors say they fear "restraints will be used" without "well-established guidelines on preventing falls."

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