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BMJ Qual Improv Report 6: doi:10.1136/bmjquality.u214186.w5626
  • BMJ Quality Improvement Programme

Reducing falls in a care home

  1. Rosie Cooper
  1. NHS Grampian, Aberdeen Health & Social Care Partnership
  1. Correspondence to Rosie Cooper rosie.cooper{at}nhs.net
  • Received 3 October 2016
  • Revision requested 15 November 2016
  • Revised 10 January 2017
  • Published 1 March 2017

Abstract

Care home residents are 3 times more likely to fall than their community dwelling peers and 10 times more likely to sustain a significant injury as a result. 2 A project commenced at a care home in Aberdeen with the aim of reducing the number of falls by 20% by 30st April 2016 using the model for improvement. Qualitative data was gathered to establish staff belief about falls and their level of knowledge& understanding about falls risks and how to manage these. This informed the training which was delivered and iterative testing commenced with the introduction of the Lanarkshire Falls Risk/Intervention tool – where the multifactorial nature of a resident's falls risks are explored and specific actions to manage these are identified and implemented. Failure to meet PDSA predictions about sharing risk reducing actions with staff and length of time to complete the tool prompted a focus on communication and the processes whereby the tool is completed. “Teach back” was employed to highlight communication difficulties and ultimately the introduction of Huddles out improved the flow of information about residents and informed the Falls Risk/Intervention tool. 5 PDSAs were completed and within them multiple tests of change. The improvement shift came following a root cause analysis of the nature & cause of one resident's falls and applying the tool & communication processes. The average falls rate fell from 49 per 1000 occupied bed days to 23.6 and was sustained because of the attention to the importance of communication. The aim was achieved with a 36.6% reduction in Falls rate.

Care home residents are 3 times more likely to fall than their community dwelling peers and 10 times more likely to sustain a significant injury as a result. 2 A project commenced at a care home in Aberdeen with the aim of reducing the number of falls by 20% by 30th April 2016 using the model for improvement. Qualitative data was gathered to establish staff belief about falls and their level of knowledge& understanding about falls risks and how to manage these. This informed the training which was delivered and iterative testing commenced with the introduction of the Lanarkshire Falls Risk/Intervention tool - where the multifactorial nature of a resident's falls risks are explored and specific actions to manage these are identified and implemented. Failure to meet PDSA predictions about sharing risk reducing actions with staff and length of time to complete the tool prompted a focus on communication and the processes whereby the tool is completed. “Teach back” was employed to highlight communication difficulties and the introduction of Huddles improved the flow of information. 5 PDSAs were completed and within them multiple tests of change. The improvement shift came following a root cause analysis of the nature & cause of one resident's falls and applying the tool & communication processes. The average falls rate fell from 49 per 1000 occupied bed days to 23.6 and was sustained because of the attention to the importance of communication. The aim was achieved with a 36.6% reduction in Falls rate.

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