Quality & Safety

Increased Mobility and Fall Reduction: An Interdisciplinary Approach on a Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Unit

Tia T. Wheatley

Michael Desrosiers

Denise Specchierla

Elisa K. Lynn

Stephanie Jackson

stem cell transplantation, fall prevention, gym program, hematology-oncology
CJON 2021, 25(3), 329-332. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.329-332

Patients in the hematology-oncology and stem cell transplantation (SCT) setting are at high risk for functional decline and falls related to prolonged hospitalizations and inactivity during inpatient treatment. After underperforming on the Press Ganey National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators benchmark for falls in 2018, staff on a hematology-oncology and SCT unit implemented a practical and evidence-based fall prevention program. Fall rates from 2018 to 2019 ranged from 3.4 to 4.8 falls per 1,000 patient days. After the introduction of the unit-based gym program, early mobility increased and falls decreased to 2.57 per 1,000 patient days.


  • Interprofessional collaboration and communication supported by evidence-based approaches are essential to reduce falls on an inpatient hematology-oncology unit.
  • Activity and exercise can be safely performed by older adult patients with hematology-oncology diagnoses, including those receiving complex cellular therapies. 
  • An innovative gym program is one intervention to promote early mobilization and activity on hematology-oncology inpatient units, despite limited space and social distancing requirements.
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