Fall Prevention and Reduction

The Fall Prevention and Reduction approach was the first developed by the Empira consortium. The purpose is to prevent and reduce the incidence of falls in nursing homes and senior living communities. Empira developed this approach using root cause analysis to identify the most common underlying causes of falls. From there, we used empirical research and forensic nursing to explore techniques for fall prevention and reduction.

We built our Fall Prevention and Reduction program on the results of that exploration. Empira’s program outlines a new set of best practices and processes for managing resident falls. The new process conducts fall scene investigation to identify the cause of the fall and then matches the intervention to that specific cause, as opposed to a blanket intervention approach.

While nursing home residents are known to be at risk for falls, month-to-month data on falls was inconsistent, indicating that the processes for managing risk could be improved. Rather than following the usual proactive approach of assessing and addressing general risk, we took a reactive approach, using root cause analysis to conduct fall scene investigations with an interdisciplinary team.

After each fall, we analyzed the internal, external, and operational factors that contributed to the fall, and matched the interventions to the root cause. Blanket interventions for falls were challenged and removed as we started implementing interventions designed to address specific causes.

Analyzing the data gathered from causation interventions, we identified two operational causes that were found to contribute most to the incidence of resident falls: personal alarm use and disruptive sleep practices.

Residents’ personal alarms created noise, reactive nursing, decreased mobility, incontinence, and mood and behavior changes that contributed to falls. Empira’s Restorative Sleep program emerged from this discovery to address the operational causes of poor sleep in nursing homes.

For more information on the Fall Prevention and Reduction program, contact Empira today. We offer education and consulting services to help your community minimize the occurrence of falls through prevention and root cause analysis.