On March 22nd, 47 organizations with multiple teams from up to 74 sites, gathered around their computers for the Closing Congress of the Falls Prevention Virtual Learning Collaborative (VLC),
Don’t Slip Up! A project partnership between
Safer Healthcare Now! (SHN) and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), this six-month program was designed for interprofessional teams from acute, long-term and home healthcare settings to develop reliable work processes with an aim to reduce falls and fall-related injuries by 40 per cent. The VLC supported teams to develop, adopt and share best practices, identify factors that impact and support practice change related to falls, test change ideas and measure improvement.
Sheryl Courtoreille, Quality Improvement Coordinator, Hay River Health and Social Services Authority, joined the VLC to help evaluate their falls prevention program first introduced in 2009, and to prepare for accreditation. Their team included representatives from acute, long-term and home care. “Although these areas are quite different in terms of needs, they have the same goals and we can learn from one another,” says Sheryl. “Having an Occupational Therapist and Rehabilitation Aide onboard is paramount and quite valuable to your team, as they are the movement, function and environment experts. We used the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model to improve relevant charting for staff and clients related to falls and are now implementing an education program to promote understanding of the program and its importance. Our experience has been fantastic and we hope that the other teams have got as much out of the Collaborative as we have.”
Kerrie Turner, a Rehabilitation Coordinator from Villa Carital, a long-term care facility in East Vancouver, British Columbia joined the Collaborative to learn from others and what was working for them. “We have implemented a lot of effective falls prevention strategies, but we wanted to do more and standardize procedures for falls,” says Kerrie. “Although our falls incidents are low, we have further decreased falls by 10 per cent since joining the Collaborative and we have a more active game plan.” Residents are now re-evaluated after returning from a hospital stay to determine any change in their fall risk; and Villa Carital has enhanced their exercise program, which runs six days a week. “We are focusing on core strengthening and balance activities to keep our levels low and help reduce the risk of falls. “
Suzanne Baker, Falls Prevention Coordinator for South Shore District Health Authority and the Provincial Falls Prevention Coordinator for Nova Scotia participated in the National Collaborative on the Prevention of Falls in Long-Term Care in 2008 and was one of nine provincial teams joining this Collaborative to help establish consistent data collection and outcome measures for falls prevention in acute care. “We were already participating in the
Safer Healthcare Now!
Falls intervention and the Collaborative helped us get onboard as a province in terms of improving data collection. We are using the data as a tool to help others understand why we do what we do. The virtual format of the Collaborative and the technology used allowed for thoughtful discussion and participation as a group. It was a cost-effective way for our nine teams to participate provincially and to share our learnings, at both national and local levels.”
Teams from across Canada participating in the Collaborative include: Nova Scotia (9); Prince Edward Island (1); Newfoundland and Labrador (2); Quebec (5); Ontario (18); Saskatchewan (4); Alberta (3); British Columbia (3); Northwest Territories (1); and Yukon (1).
Session recordings and related documents from the VLC are posted to the
Safer Healthcare Now! website. For effective strategies to reduce and injuries from falls in your healthcare setting, refer to the
Falls Getting Started Kit.