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Benefits of implementing an interdisciplinary and multifactorial strategy to falls prevention in a rural, residential aged-care facility

Authors


Ms Kay Beasley, 4 Beech Ct., Chinchilla, Qld 4413, Australia. Email: lbeasley@ecn.net.au

Abstract

Background  Falls are a frequent and serious problem facing residents in aged-care facilities. Their prevention continues to be one of the most challenging aspects of the increasingly complex health-care needs of the aged. A fall can impact hugely on a resident's quality of life, health and health-care costs. Evidence supports the completion of a falls risk assessment and a program of multiple interventions as successful measures in reducing falls.

Objective  The aim of this project was to improve the local practice in the prevention of falls and to ensure this practice is performed according to the best available evidence.

Method  The Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System program was the clinical audit tool used. This program utilised a process of audit, feedback and reaudit as a strategy to improve practice. This was to be completed by developing a strategy to implement an interdisciplinary and multifactorial strategy to falls prevention in a rural, residential aged-care facility. A program of multiple interventions that were aimed at minimising individual client's risk of falling was utilised in this project.

Results  The 20-week intervention program of this project had a positive effect on audit criterion that supports the evidence-based practice for an interdisciplinary, multifactorial falls prevention program. The number of residents falling and the number of falls occurring were significantly reduced.

Conclusion  An interdisciplinary and multifactorial prevention program may reduce falls in an aged-care facility. The Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System program proved to be an effective and easy-to-use tool to stimulate clinical change in the workplace. Its cycle of audit, feedback and reaudit can easily be utilised to improve other clinical issues relevant to our facility.

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