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A Fall or Not a Fall

A rose by any other name would be the same. But when coding an MDS, terms can mean a bit differently.

Consider the person doing a free fall in the image above. A free fall, even with the word "fall" in it's name, is not considered a fall if this person's change in position from the plane was intentional. According to the RAI manual, the definition of fall is an "unintentional change in position coming to rest on the ground, floor or onto the next lower surface."

But there's more... "Falls are not a result of an overwhelming external force (e.g., a resident pushes another resident)". So this person falling would not be considered a "fall" if the person was pushed out of the plane.

Of course, these definitions only apply when coding the Minimum Data Set of residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities. Otherwise, a fall by any other name, or with a fall in it's name, would still be a fall.


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