Morse Fall Scale Use in Prevention of Falls on an Acute Medical Surgical Unit

Patient falls during hospitalization are unfortunately a common occurrence. One intervention many facilities use to help prevent these falls is implementation of a fall risk assessment tool. A common instrument used is the Morse Fall Scale (MFS)—a six variable scale that includes history of falling, secondary diagnoses, use of ambulatory aids, intravenous therapy/heparin lock, gait, and mental status. In this scholarly project, current research was gathered and analyzed to determine whether the Morse Fall Scale is an accurate way of identifying patients at high risk for falls and if it is an appropriate intervention. Six peer-reviewed, scholarly articles about this topic were analyzed. The literature included primarily quantitative research and a literature review with the intended audience of medical professionals to compare multiple fall risk assessment tools and determine the best use of the Morse Fall Scale. The articles showed that the MFS is an easy to use, time efficient scale when its cut-off point is determined for a specific setting. To properly utilize this scale, it should be supplemented by nursing clinical judgement and other interventions and not relied on independently. Based on the data synthesized from the literature, this project describes a evidence based practice change using the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) model. This model can be used as a method of implementing evidence-based research into the clinical setting that could reduce the incidence of falls and increase the specificity and sensitivity of the Morse Fall Scale.