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A Comprehensive Guide to Fall Prevention Education

Written by: Michael Fragala, PhD, MBA, RN, WCC, CSPHP, AMS

A fall can traumatize a patient who otherwise might be on the road to recovery. The loss of confidence, mobility, and independence from a fall can make a patient in a nursing facility weak and vulnerable once more. During these times, clinical leadership and healthcare teams must take a proactive, multidisciplinary approach to heal the patient and prevent falls in the future.

Fall prevention education needs pillars of support from all involved: family members, administrative and housekeeping staff, physical therapists, technicians, and nursing teams. The patient needs to be made aware of what happened, how to stop it from happening again, and how to improve overall mobility.

Falls cost the healthcare system around $50 billion per year. The older someone is, the more likely they are to fall. Proactive fall prevention education and individualized falls management plans can help avoid these costs and keep fatal falls to a minimum in nursing facilities.

Why Is Patient Engagement So Crucial To Fall Prevention Education?

Engaging patients and their families give more control to the patient when it comes to preventing falls and managing the aftermath of a fall. Individuals can begin to actively invest in their health and well-being, while families and caretakers can better understand how their loved one is affected.

Patients who take an active role in their own care are better equipped to make decisions for themselves and more willing to hold caretakers and medical staff accountable. Nurses and care teams must provide patients with more material to empower them to avoid falls and other adverse events during their care.

Some patients and family members can also give feedback on improving fall prevention education. This way, the initiative can become even more effective over time.

How To Engage Patients

The World Health Organization recommends evaluating patients before engaging them in fall prevention education. Some monitoring elements include health literacy, the severity of their conditions and symptoms, the difficulty of the task involved, and the setting for the patient. Each patient has different circumstances that might change the best way to approach them.

Part of any good patient engagement program should include multiple ways to report safety incidents or concerns. Plans should be implemented to follow up on each report and get feedback on improving the overall strategy.

How To Engage Family Members

Communities can bring about real change regarding preventing falls and responding appropriately when they happen. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to care for a patient. Fall prevention education starts with the patient, but it should also be disseminated to other family members. Some patients might have or eventually develop conditions that will make them less independent, such as dementia or paralysis. In these cases, family members must be brought in sooner rather than later.

Hosting virtual webinars or seminars at the public library or community center can be a starting point for further engaging large groups of people. Don’t only rely on pamphlets and flyers to raise awareness. While written material can help, they often appear stilted and boring.

Fall Prevention Education Starts With Good Equipment & Technology

Education plays a crucial role in patient fall prevention. By educating healthcare staff and patients on fall risk factors and prevention strategies, healthcare facilities can reduce the incidence of falls and the resulting injuries. Fall prevention education can also promote patient engagement and empowerment, enabling patients to take an active role in their own safety. Finally, ongoing education and training can help healthcare professionals stay up-to-date on best practices and continuously improve their fall prevention efforts.

Investing in education can lead to better patient outcomes, improved quality of care, and reduced healthcare costs. Contact us today to discuss innovative ways to put your patients first.

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