Group photo of moer than 20 employees from many clinical areas at Bridgepoint who are falls prevention coaches. They are gathered around a table with a cake.

For Falls Prevention Month, falls coaches at Bridgepoint took the opportunity to celebrate their successes in implementing falls prevention initiatives across the organization.

Over the past year, clinical teams across Bridgepoint have continued to work on various aspects of the falls prevention strategy. Falls prevention is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires team work. In honour of Falls Prevention Month, read about how employees across Bridgepoint are working together to prevent falls.

The need

Each year, it’s estimated that one in three adults over the age of 65 will experience a fall. The impact can be devastating, resulting in disability, chronic pain, loss of independence and reduced quality of life. Falls are also a significant burden to the health care system, costing an estimated $2 billion annually in Canada.

Sinai Health System has made preventing falls part of our Quality Aims, with the goal of achieving zero falls with serious injury.

The solution

The Quality and Safety team is approaching falls prevention from many different angles, engaging clinical teams on every unit. Some examples of this work include:

  • The creation of a committee of falls coaches from across all disciplines and representing all clinical areas of the hospital.
  • Improving processes so that patients are assessed for falls risk within 24 hours of admission. This allows for an individualized falls plan of care to be put in place as soon as possible.
  • Engaging with patients and families to provide educational materials, empowering them with information on falls prevention, including information on hip protectors that can help prevent falls injuries.
  • The installation of a cushioning layer of subflooring—called SmartCells flooring— on at least one patient room on each floor. Processes were put in place to check in during safety huddles to ensure patients who can most benefit from this safety feature are in these rooms.
  • Continued use of the high falls risk communication tools including signage and bracelets to remind care teams of patients who are at higher risk of falling.

The results

With the new falls prevention initiatives in place, Bridgepoint’s rates of falls causing serious injury have declined significantly. In the first six months of the 2017-18 fiscal year, there were seven serious falls, compared to just one serious fall in the first six months of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The Palliative Care team in particular, has distinguished itself in terms of its compliance with falls screening and implementing the falls plan of care (which reduces the likelihood of falls) and in triaging the most appropriate patients to rooms with the innovative flooring. 4N has not had a serious fall since January 2017.

Falls Prevention efforts continue across Bridgepoint and Sinai Health System as we work towards achieving our Quality Aim of zero serious falls. Stay tuned for new and innovative initiatives in 2019!

Group photo of members of the 4 North team receiving a certificate celebrating their falls prevention achievement

The 4 North Palliative Care Team was recognized with a Patient Safety award for their hard work in implementing falls prevention initiatives.

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