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Miami Children’s Hospital nurses shed light on developing Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Program

Jackie L. Gonzalez, DNP, MBA, ARNP,senior vice president and CNO, and Deborah Hill-Rodriguez, MSN, RN, ARNP, PCNS-BC, nurse manager at Miami Children’s Hospital, answer questions about the impetus for the Humpty Dumpty Falls
Prevention Program.

Q: What is the Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Program all about?

Gonzalez: The program was originally started in 2005 at MCH to ensure patient safety and quality outcomes by identifying pediatric patients at risk for falling while in the hospital. A protocol was designed for patients aimed at reducing the risk of a potential fall event and to further reduce the risk of harm if a patient does fall. When the team, consisting of nurse leaders and frontline clinicians, began meeting to determine the critical pathway to accomplish the program objectives, it was discovered that there was limited information in pediatrics related to fall events in hospitalized children. At the time, the only prevention scales implemented in hospitals had focused on the adult patient population. The team took the initiative and proactively gathered available evidence, collaborated with other institutions and developed a pediatric falls prevention program from the ground up.

Q: What was the role of nurses on the initial team?

Hill-Rodriguez: This evidence-based practice program was developed as a MCH nursing-driven program that was researched, evaluated and developed by nurses at all levels. The team developed the three Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Scales, which were implemented in the inpatient and outpatient areas and the ED.

The scales were developed after determining the most common themes in over 200 actual pediatric fall events from different hospitals. They also developed the standardized protocols for patients at low risk and high risk for falls, visual management signs for patients at high risk, a patient education system and staff education module.

While the team has changed and grown over the years, it still meets weekly to evaluate pediatric fall events and to ensure program effectiveness. The team also has completed two research studies to validate the inpatient scale and is embarked on a five-year multisite international study.

Q: What information and tools are provided to other hospitals/facilities who want to implement the program?

Hill-Rodriguez: The Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Program is in over 900 hospitals across the nation and over 150 internationally. When a hospital implements the program, they receive all components of the program as well as access to a live webinar and the ability to communicate with a Miami Children’s Hospital clinician to answer any questions.

Want to participate in this research?

If you are interested in participating in this research project, please contact Deborah Hill-Rodriguez at [email protected] for more information.

Program earns Magnet Honors Award

To read about the program’s Magnet Honors Award, visit:

By | 2014-12-05T00:00:00-05:00 December 5th, 2014|Categories: Regional, South|0 Comments

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