Health Care Facility-based Settings

Health care facility-based interventions often entail injury from falls prevention counseling by a health care provider in public or private health care settings (e.g., physician’s office, hospital, health department, or assisted living facility). These counseling sessions may require reminders or prompts for the provider to discuss safety precautions as well as related risk factors (e.g., medication use, arthritis, vision problems). These interventions can also include training for health care professionals on the importance of preventing injuries when falls occur (e.g., using hip protectors). Some of the challenges in the health care setting include the limited time health care providers may have to visit with individuals and the risk of information overload because of competing or related health priorities. Referrals to other community resources can also be an important part of interventions in health care settings.

Previous work in health care facility-based settings has found:

  • In residential facilities, the success of falls prevention programs depends on a complex interaction between physicians, therapists, nursing staff, the institution, families and the residents.
  • Visual media placed in health care settings may help remind individuals to ask their health care providers about their health or help providers remember to speak with individuals about preventing injury from falls.
  • Hospitals are important settings to prevent injury from falls of their patients, especially those in rehabilitation. The majority of falls occurring in hospitals happens in the patient’s room and bathroom, since they are in an unfamiliar environment; therefore individualized falls prevention interventions are often targeted to patients during their first week of hospitalization.
  • Health care settings (e.g., hospitals, pharmacies, maternal clinics, dental clinics, WIC clinics, emergency rooms, newborn service providers, residential care facilities, and pediatrician clinics) are important settings for education interventions because of the natural provider-patient exchange.
  • Because organizations in health care facility-based settings assess and store information on individuals, they are well-suited for injury from falls education interventions because individual information is already collected and communication systems for these individuals are already in place. These settings make it easier to distribute individually tailored information to participants.
  • In residential facilities, the success of falls prevention programs depends on a complex interaction between physicians, therapists, nursing staff, the institution, families and the residents.

printer-friendly Print this window