A bad fall in the hospital can turn a short visit into a long stay. Such falls featured in congressional discussions about patient safety, and in a in the Journal of Patient Safety about medical errors. Falls are one part of a multistate clash between nurses and hospitals over how to improve the safety of hospitalized patients. In Washington state, hospitals are required to falls that happen on their watch to the state health department. Some hospitals have installed bed alarms to monitor patients prone to sleepwalking. Gene White sits on his back porch near a garden fountain. Just walking there from his bedroom was an ordeal for the retired airline pilot.