Fall Prevention Collaborative

Focusing on improved outcomes, system changes

Fall prevention is everyone’s business, at least that is one way to summarize the perspective in a recent environmental scan of fall prevention initiatives across the province. The scan, which included analysis of systematic reviews, studies and evidence-based fall prevention approaches and activities, was drawn from a variety of databases as well as one-on-one interviews.

“Towards and Integrated, Systems-Based Approach to Fall Prevention in Ontario: An Environmental Scan of Current Interventions and Recommendations for Action”was completed and presented by Dr. Brian Hyndman in November 2018. He enhanced and qualified his data analysis through interviews with respondents representing Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), shared health services, Public Health units, health care Institutions and university and hospital-based researchers.

The results of the scan were presented to a group of health care professionals at a conference in late November. The scan, initiated by a collaborative group of fall prevention professionals supported by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, is part of the ongoing effort to establish a provincial collaborative that will develop recommendations and improve the consistent use of evidence-informed fall prevention strategies across the province.

Given the impact of falls on the health of older Ontarians, the scan confirmed the need to address prevention through a number of strategies. Reducing falls would also have a significant and positive impact on health care costs by addressing some of the issues that result in “hallway medicine” across the province. Education, communication and knowledge mobilization underlie all fall prevention activities.

Two priorities emerged based on the scan and November discussion. The first is the need to establish a working group to review current key indicators related to falls and suggest a systems-based approach to gathering reliable and relevant data. The second priority will focus on developing a briefing note on fall prevention in response to the report issued by the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Health Care.