Falls and the Emergency Department

Falls in a great way effect the flow and care aspects of an Emergency Department. Too often it is because of a fall that a person presents to the Emergency Department and ultimately an admission to the hospital if warranted. In other instances, the person is discharged home where their deconditioned state makes it likely that a future fall could occur. In essence, these scenarios create a perpetual revolving door, frustrating providers, hospital administrators and most importantly, the patient themselves.

Today, falls remain a major research priority for Emergency Departments in an effort to at minimum slow the cycle. When you look at this effort, it is important to first identify "what" is currently being done as a foundation of discussion.

In order to begin this discussion, we have to look at two components: 1) how do we identify those with higher risks and 2) what do we do with them?

The answer to the first question is deceivingly difficult, as there are a number of tools readily used today. However, context and actual examination of the criteria that the tool falls into is critical. For instance, it is not appropriate to utilize a "screening tool" (think of a yes/no checklist or one based on subjective observation) as an "assessment tool" (a procedure that objectively identifies a person's risk through a series of standardized assessments which can lead to a diagnosis or functional impairment rating).

The CDC created their STEADI Algorithm which identifies the separate roles and functions of screening and assessment as a means to gather important fall-risk related information. With the assessment information complete, an action plan can then be concretely developed that is meaningful and patient-centered.

So we have the appropriate information, now what do we do with it? Here is where the Safe Balance program offers unparalleled capability to your system. With the results calculated, the Safe Balance program then generates a patient-centered care plan to prevent falls during their stay based on the findings in the assessment. Further, the software then generates a care plan to be implemented in the discharge planning process, leading to extended reach, application beyond the Emergency Department, and into community-based services!

If you are looking for a concept that slows or stops the cyclical fall-related problems faced by the Emergency Department, check out how Safe Balance can provide your department and clinicians with the information they need to make informed decisions leading to better fall-prevention care. Send us a message here today!

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