Falls in Senior Care: A Multidimensional Problem That Needs a Multidimensional Solution

Bad things happen to patients and residents when they are alone and behind closed doors. Due to staffing shortages, increasing nursing home admissions, and lack of practical and valuable solutions, it is nearly impossible for nursing staff to have eyes on their patients and residents at all times, but now more than ever, it is necessary. 

According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, a typical 100-bed nursing home reports at least 100 to 200 falls per year. Up to 75 percent of nursing home residents fall on an annual basis. (1) The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society cites that falls among adults age 65+ result in $50 billion in medical costs related to non-fatal injuries and $754 million in injuries that are fatal (2)

Falls in nursing facilities is an age-old multidimensional problem. But are we doing anything different to solve it?  Multidimensional problems need multidimensional solutions. If we truly want to improve the safety of our loved ones in senior care, the industry needs to take a more holistic approach.

Inspiren’s AUGi Platform automatically collects and analyzes resident and staff behavior with advanced computer vision technology. The AUGi platform enables nursing facilities to take a comprehensive approach to combating falls. The approach can be broken down into four major components:

Safety Protocol Compliance – Ensure protocols are being followed consistently

  • Hourly rounding has been proven to reduce falls by 50% but how do we know if it’s being performed consistently especially with resourcing and staff allocation challenges?
  • Through the AUGi mobile application, clinical staff can be reminded to visit residents that have been unseen for significant periods of time
  • Nursing management can measure rounding compliance trends and take action to improve or maintain performance

Prevention & Detection: Provide staff real-time fall risk notifications

  • Even with consistent rounding protocol adherence, human behavior is often unpredictable especially in memory care facilities
  • AUGi’s computer vision and artificial intelligence technology can identify when high fall risk residents attempt to leave their beds, exit their beds, or appear to be on the floor
  • Audible notifications are sent to staff mobile devices and a central system at the charge nurse station so staff can take immediate action

Quality Improvement Reporting – Private and de-identified playback to understand what happened

  • In the case of fall or “near-fall” events, the AUGi solution empowers clinical staff and managers with private and de-identified image playback to understand why the resident attempted to leave their bed or fell in the room
  • Understanding the context of an event can lead to the development of new protocols or general resident specific best practices regarding their living environment, visitation frequency, and care plan

Consistent rounding, proactive fall-risk notifications, and the ability to investigate fall or “near-fall” events, provide clinical staff and management the tools they need to implement the proper protocols, measure execution of those protocols, and course correct based on the resident’s behavior behind closed doors.

Regardless of what technology or processes we put in place to stop falls, we must use behavioral data to drive our decisions and actions. Without data, caregivers are in the dark without any visibility. It’s time to turn on the lights.

Are you trying to prevent falls in your healthcare facility? Inspiren can help. Click here to schedule a brief introductory call!

Sources:

  1. https://www.nursinghomeabusecenter.com/nursing-home-injuries/falls-fractures/
  2. Florence CS, Bergen G, Atherly A, Burns ER, Stevens JA, Drake C. Medical Costs of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls in Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018 March, DOI:10.1111/jgs.15304