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Doctors warn on patients' falls

Boston Globe, June 4, 2009

Patient falls and the injuries they cause are considered such a crisis that the federal government stopped paying hospitals for extra care if a fall is deemed preventable. Now, a Boston doctor is warning the pressure to keep patients from falling may lead to greater harm through the use of restraints. Sharon K. Inouye, MD, of Harvard Medical School argues 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.