Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries: Fall Prevention for Community-Dwelling Older Adults
|Neser, Sarah B.
|Problem & Purpose: Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among older adults, yet most older adults who fall fail to report falling to their provider. Lack of routine fall screening and management among community-dwelling older adults places them at risk for future falls and injuries. The purpose of this 12-week quality improvement project was to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries protocol in a primary care office to screen older adults for falls and address modifiable risk factors for those at increased risk. Methods: A literature review supported the protocol in reducing falls among older adults. Publicly available resources were adapted into training presentations and case scenarios for providers and staff. Staff screened eligible older adults during their office visit. Providers assessed gait and balance for those with a positive screen and identified fall risk (low, moderate or high). Moderate- and high-risk patients received a risk assessment and fall plan of care. Protocol steps were recorded on checklists reviewed weekly by the project leader to evaluate protocol adherence. Ongoing chart reviews, case scenarios, and a mid-project training session reinforced the protocol. Data was analyzed in three four-week time intervals with a goal of 80% adherence to all protocol steps. Results: The majority of protocol steps remained above goal over all time intervals or improved with training. All moderate- and high-risk patients received a fall care plan, despite risk assessments dropping below goal in the final interval. Moderate-risk patients were difficult to correctly identify. Overall protocol adherence was highest for low-risk patients (97%) and lowest for high-risk patients (80%) compared to moderate-risk (81%). Conclusion: With continued staff education and protocol reinforcement, the Stopping Elderly Accidents Deaths and Injuries protocol can be successfully implemented in the primary care daily workflow. Protocol adherence may be complicated by fall risk level. This project’s results support the 2019 modified protocol in removing stratified risk levels. Barriers to implementation include lack of protocol reimbursement and time to complete the protocol. Future studies should assess effectiveness of the protocol in reducing falls at one-year follow-up.
|Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI)
|Accidental Falls--prevention & control
|Primary Health Care
|Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries: Fall Prevention for Community-Dwelling Older Adults
|STEADI Fall Prevention
|Rowe, Gina C.