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Ontario Fall Prevention Collaborative

In Ontario, fall prevention initiatives for older adults, vary in their scope, approach, implementation and measurement of outcomes. The heterogeneous, fragmented nature of fall prevention efforts makes it difficult to ascertain what interventions are working, how interventions can be improved and where a greater investment of resources or an increased level of coordination and collaboration between key stakeholders is required to maximize impact (Dr. Brian Hyndman, 2018). The Ontario Fall Prevention Collaborative is a group of health and social service practitioners (from EMS, to nursing, to policy planners) across Ontario who was brought together by ONF to collectively gather and share information, analyze it and respond to these broader questions that individual practitioners do not have the capacity to address on their own.

The Collaborative has identified the following priorities for action and has implemented them fully or are in progress:

  • Form a provincial oversight group (i.e. the Collaborative)
  • Develop a measurement framework
  • Explore standardization of interventions as well as fall prevention screening and assessment tools
  • Inform and influence policy and its implementation by producing and disseminating position papers

Knowledge Synthesis

The Collaborative examines system-based issues around fall prevention in older adults to find solutions that can be adopted and adapted across all sectors, regionally and locally in Ontario. For solutions to be generated, information needs to be synthesized, shared and used by all.

The Collaborative released the first phase of its work which focused on two environmental scans of fall prevention indicators currently in use in Canada and internationally as well as a scan of fall prevention screening and assessment tools. These environmental scans were identified as priority issues by the Collaborative to collectively understand the current knowledge on indicators and tools. The second phase will dive further into where gaps exist, the use and relevance of these indicators and tools in practice along with their effective implementation for provincial scale up. Read more about the environmental scans.

Collective Voice

The Collaborative is well poised to provide expertise and collective solutions to guide the development of an integrated, coordinated and efficient approach to fall prevention among older adults in Ontario. The Collaborative has already informed the Premier’s Council on Ending Hallway Medicine through its position paper, An Integrated Approach to Preventing Fall-Related Injuries among Older Adults in Ontario.

The Ontario Fall Prevention Collaborative presented a webinar, Working together to put Fall Prevention on the Health System Agenda highlighting the recommendations presented in the position paper and seeking input on next steps from the webinar participants. Review the recording and download the slides.

The Collaborative also provided input to the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care to inform the development of fall prevention protocols for older adults living in community dwellings.

Partnerships and Coordinated Action

The Collaborative is working with RISE (Rapid Improvement Support and Exchange) to make its work available to all OHTs (Ontario Health Teams) for use in their practice especially OHTs working with older adults. OHTs will not have the individual capacity, nor should they, to individually gather evidence, tools, analyses of information on fall prevention in older adults. The Collaborative is taking it upon itself to examine those broader issues and be available to support and inform OHTs to respond to their immediate needs regarding fall prevention in older adults.

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