Memorial Medical Clinic Fall Risk Assesment: Quality Improvement Project

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2022

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Ibarra-Aleman, Victoria
Crowley, William

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Purpose: For patients 65 and older, injuries sustained from falls can lead serious injuries and can cause a decrease in the elderly individual's quality of life. Therefore, screening for fall risks is important in the prevention of future falls and the consequences associated with those falls. Memorial Medical Clinic did not assess for fall risk in patients 65 or older; however, the clinic was now positioned to do fall risk screenings because they had the resources and the staff needed to perform this. This project looked at the correlation between increased fall risk assessments and increased screening of fall risk in the clinic. Methods: Data was gathered from November 9-30, 2021, using convenient sampling. Patients were screened with the "Stay Independent-STEADI" questionnaire. Patients were given the questionnaire by the medical assistant on intake, and the patient filled out the survey while they waited for the provider to arrive. The average number of patients who were screened for fall risk and total number of patients who fit into the sampling population was evaluated. Results: With the implementation of the screening, using the STEADI questionnaire, fall risk screening increased from 0% to 83.9% and 19 individuals with risk of falling were identified (4 or more points on the STEADI questionnaire). Throughout the study, only 1 person was excluded because they were deaf, mute, illiterate, and did not know sign language. Conclusions: Through the study, it was found that many of the elderly patients with risk of falling were already being seen at the clinic for the factors that placed them at risk. Additionally, with a system in place, the clinic was now positioned to continue performing fall risk screenings using the STEADI questionnaire. Throughout this quality improvement project, it was also identified that patient flow in the clinic needed to be improved to be more efficient in the handing out of the STEADI questionnaire. The need for more training in newly hired staff was also encountered. Both would be great areas for future quality improvement projects.

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