In 2016, the World Health Organization estimated that 424, 000 fatal falls occurred, making it the second cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. In the hospital, falls experienced by patients are the most frequently reported adverse events worldwide with falls-related injuries having a negative impact on patients, families, and the health care system. November is Falls Prevention month and we are highlighting some of the work that is happening across Mount Sinai to reduce falls in hospital, and eliminate falls with serious injury or death.

Published paper emphasizes interprofessional collaboration in fall prevention
In January of this year, a paper was published in the Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice highlighting the evolution of Mount Sinai Hospital’s approach to falls prevention during a system level integration. Our falls prevention committee co-chairs Katherine McQuaid-Bascon, Senior Manager, Health Disciplines and Matthew Royal, Nurse Practitioner are two of the authors on the paper. Some of the key insights include how important interprofessional collaboration is for preventing falls in the hospital, as well as establishing partnerships and leveraging expertise in departments such as Quality, Risk and Information Technology.

Pharmacy students highlight prevention strategies for older adults
Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians. 1 in 5 people (20%) over the age of 65 living in the community report having a fall over the past year, with a higher prevalence among seniors over 80 years of age (Statistics Canada, 2010). Poor vision, impaired mobility and cognition, low physical activity and the use of certain medications are just some of the factors that may put seniors at risk for falls. Pharmacy students from the Pharmacy Awareness of Geriatrics (PAG) club at University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy hosted a Fall Prevention Information Table at the Rio Can Food Hall in Mount Sinai Hospital on November 26. They provided education about health strategies to mitigate risk factors, such as moving about safely, medication safety, the importance of physical exercise, vision checks and safe winter walking. Their use of patient-friendly handouts, infographics, and fun activities provided an educational and engaging experience for all.

What’s next – early mobility pilot set to launch in the new year
In January, the Intensive Care Unit is starting an early mobility pilot as a falls prevention tool. There will be an education blitz in December before the pilot begins in 2019.

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