Leveraging technology to engage family caregivers

Seniorlink research was featured in this quarter’s Rehab & Community Care magazine, in an article written by Jay V. Patel, Clinical Transformation Officer, Meghan Fitzgerald, Board of Directors and David Young, VP Center for Clinical Excellence. The article covers results from a study of the clinical protocol Seniorlink created to reduce the rate of falls among consumers in its intensive care model. via Rehab & Community Care Medicine: “A comprehensive falls risk assessment and management program (FMP) has been implemented to train care managers, who in turn educate caregivers on falls risk assessment, prevention and management. All care recipients are evaluated for their risk of falling using a proprietary tool called the Falls Quick Screen. The Falls Quick Screen assesses fall history, gait, balance, medication regimen, age and other factors that impact falls. It then determines both the risk of falling and the risk of an injurious fall, and assigns each individual to a risk quadrant. Next, the care plan is reassessed and revised to determine when follow-up is needed. These revisions might include additional coaching for the caregiver and care recipient, referral to external skilled services (e.g., physical therapy), collaboration with pharmacists to review and revise the medication plan, and other actions that are recipient-centred, dynamic and sensitive to changes in health status. Any fall that does occur is considered an event, no matter the injury status. Falls are verified by CGH nurses or care managers, via either telephone or a home visit. The falls rate dropped nearly 40 per cent in the months following the implementation of the FMP in 2011. For the Massachusetts only population, the falls rate peaked at 1.46 falls per 1,000 care recipient days in 2013, after staff and caregiver training, and dropped to 0.73 falls per 1,000 care recipient days by the end of 2016 (Figure 2). This compares with a range of 1.3–8.9 falls per 1,000 care recipient days in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals.” Click here to read the rest of the article! For more information about Seniorlink’s VOICE clinical protocols, click here.

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