When it comes to fall prevention, you can never spread enough awareness. The amount of elderly and high-risk patients that fall every day is exponentially continuing to rise due to the ever-increasing aging population and rise in comorbidities in the United States.
With that being said, fall prevention should be at the forefront of all healthcare settings. However, no amount of effort from physicians and clinicians will ever be sufficient if the patients themselves are not educated on the graveness of the problem or the potential risk they are at.
This is why patient education materials are extremely important, but perhaps underutilized. According to Haines, Hill & Hill et al. (2011), it was identified that when a patient education program coupled with an OT follow-up was utilized, there was a 50% reduction in patients fall rates, both with impaired and intact cognitive function. This is a significant finding that should not be overlooked and suggests that patient education on fall prevention and fall risk plays a vital role in preventing these unfortunate occurrences.
Upon completion of the Safe Balance Assessment, a patient-specific fall prevention framework is generated focusing on mitigating each individual risk area using evidence-based pathways. Further, this care plan focuses on keeping the patient safe during their stay in the facility as well as a discharge framework to keep them safe at home and preventing readmissions.
A big component of this is the Patient Education Materials that the Safe Balance program generates that can be emailed and/or printed and handed directly to the patient themselves. These education materials cover topics such as bladder health, medication information, home safety, home exercise suggestions, blood pressure information, etc. to ensure that the patient is educated on ways that they can decrease their risk.
Not only will the patient leave knowing their fall risk factors and have clinical framework of how to mitigate their risk, but they will also have educational materials that will help take charge of their risks and health long past the direct treatment in your facility.
Patient education on fall risk and prevention is one of the key foundations of the Safe Balance program to help ensure that loved ones are kept safe.
Haines TP, Hill A, Hill KD, et al. Patient Education to Prevent Falls Among Older Hospital Inpatients: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(6):516–524. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.444