Falls Prevention requires a cross sector and cross team approach and the development and usage of the Champlain Falls prevention algorithm for community and primary care supports that approach. The four regional Public health Units have provided education to over 600 PSW paramedics and college students this year, which allows these staff to play their full role in supporting seniors in their falls prevention journey. This education module will be available on line by early summer 2016. The Staying Independent Checklist is being promoted as a self-screening tool in a several ambulatory care departments across the region, which then links into the regional pathway. Flow charts are being finalized for the exercise and falls prevention classes across Champlain so that there is commonality for seniors accessing these activities.
The Falls algorithm has been incorporated into the Practice Solutions EMR for primary care providers in the Bone Health program and is available on the website:
https://hodgson-public.sharepoint.com/fallprevention There is also a “ how to download” video on this site. These will soon be posted on the TELUS Community Portal.
Several Family Health Teams are using it, or are interested in doing so and an effort is being made to influence inclusion in Nightingale on Demand for CHCs. An online CME Falls prevention Module is being developed with the University of Ottawa to support physicians, with a completion date expected for Fall 2016.
The http://www.Stopfalls.ca website is a resource for healthcare providers to access information about assessments, best practices and local resources.
Communicating assessment findings and interventions taken across sectors and between professionals can sometimes be very difficult which can lead to duplication and omissions. A falls prevention assessment communication tool is being tested between a GEM nurse, CCAC physiotherapist and a retirement home to improve the sharing of information gained by each team member. This in turn will support primary care providers to find the root cause of the fall and provides the right intervention.
Now that there are some firm foundational tools in place that are beginning to be used across the region, data will support the development of a multi year plan so that efforts are targeted appropriately and effectively. This will be linked with the Regional Geriatric Advisory Committee strategy and the Champlain LHIN Integrated Health Service Plan. This plan will form a large part of the Falls Prevention Annual report, which will be completed at the end of March 2016. A summary of the report will be shared in a future article.
written by: Christine Bidmead, Project Manager – Champlain Falls Prevention Strategy , Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario