Fall Risk in the Elderly of Liberty, TX




Pauls, Katelyn


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Purpose: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four elderly adults will fall each year in the United States and one in every five falls in the elderly results in a serious injury. Will implementing a fall screen into the care of patients over age 65 increase the number of patients screened for falls at the Liberty Medical Surgical Clinic (LMSC) in Liberty, TX? Methods: For assessment, the STEADI Stay Independent Questionnaire was used. The questionnaire was given to eligible patients by the medical assistants when the patient is first placed in a room. Patients could fill out the survey while waiting for the doctor and return the survey to either the provider or medical assistants before leaving. Results could then be recorded in the patients chart, reviewed, and addressed at a later visit. Results: Prior to survey introduction, zero out of twenty-one eligible patients in one week were screened for fall risk. During the week that the surveys were introduced to the patients, only three out of thirty-seven eligible patients were screened. Conclusion: Due to the workload of the staff at the LMSC, adding another step to the patient rooming process did not result in consistent screening. It may be more effective to put a poster with information about fall risk and prevention in the room along with the surveys to catch patients' attention. This way, patients could take the initiative to screen themselves and start the discussion with the providers.