Implementing a Five-Step Protocol for Managing Falls for PACE Participants
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As a PACE program, it's crucial to prioritize fall prevention to ensure participant safety and well-being. Falls can result in severe injuries and hospitalizations, which can be expensive and negatively impact the participant's health. To reduce the risk of falls, PACE programs can implement the five-step protocol below that includes a home safety assessment, mobility assistance, strength and balance exercises, medication review, and regular monitoring and communication. Additionally, data interoperability can enable a more coordinated approach to care.
1) Home Safety Assessment: Perform a comprehensive home safety assessment to identify and address potential hazards, such as uneven flooring or poor lighting. Remove clutter, secure loose rugs or carpets, and install handrails and grab bars in high-risk areas.
2) Mobility Assistance: Provide participants with appropriate mobility aids, such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, and ensure that they are properly fitted and maintained. Encourage consistent use and teach the participant the correct way to use them to prevent falls.
3) Strength and Balance Exercises: Develop a personalized exercise program that focuses on improving the participant's strength, flexibility, and balance. Consult with physical therapists on suitable exercises and frequency, and encourage regular participation.
4) Medication Review: Collaborate with the IDT to review medications for potential side effects or drug interactions that may contribute to dizziness or drowsiness. Adjust dosages or switch medications as necessary to minimize these risks. Ensure the participant takes medications as prescribed and is aware of potential side effects.
5) Regular Monitoring and Communication: Establish a system to monitor the participant's progress and health, including regular check-ins and follow-ups outside of their 6-month assessment. Encourage open communication between the participant, caregivers, and IDT to address any concerns or changes in the participant's condition. Update the fall prevention plan as needed to adapt to the participant's needs and circumstances.
By following this protocol and leveraging data interoperability, PACE programs can reduce fall risk among participants and provide them with the best possible care. Intus Care can enable our PACE partners to make more informed decisions through data by leveraging our software platform and Integrated Care Services. Prioritizing fall prevention can promote participant safety, enhance their quality of life, and reduce healthcare costs associated with fall-related injuries and hospitalizations.
For more resources on fall prevention, visit AHRQ’s Safety Program for Nursing Homes: On-Time Falls Prevention | Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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