Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Nicole Gibson


length of stay and physical therapy and occupational therapy or discharge planning or hospital readmission, patient, Katz Index, and functional decline


Inpatient falls may cause both physical and emotional consequences, contributing to increased healthcare costs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016; McAlister et al., 2014). Thirty-eight inpatients in a rural critical access hospital, 65 years of age and older, were assessed using the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living (Katz ADL). When a deficiency was detected, a referral to discharge planning (DCP), physical therapy (PT), and occupational therapy (OT) was made and initiation of fall risk procedures were implemented. Referrals made at the time of admission to DCP, PT, and OT, along with implementation of fall risk procedures, did not decrease length of stay, did not show a statistically significant decrease in 30-day readmissions, or a decrease in inpatient falls. However, clinical importance was found including an increase in services at discharge (PT, OT and homecare) along with a reduction in 30-day readmissions. Further research is needed to determine an appropriate tool for determining which patients will benefit most from early referrals.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Falls (Accidents) -- Prevention.
Falls (Accidents) in old age -- Prevention.
Hospital utilization -- Length of stay.
Patients -- Safety measures.
Older people -- Care.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted