Monday, September 23, 2013

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day: Statewide Resources

Help us celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Week, September 22-28, 2013 by promoting this CDC evidence-based fall prevention toolkit with physicians across the state.  

Why is fall prevention important? 
Injuries resulting from falls create a substantial health burden in Colorado, particularly for adults ages 65 and older. Each year, an average of 549 Coloradans ages 65+ die from a fall-related injury. Fall-related hospitalization costs alone total more than $263 million annually. The fear of falling is a real concern for older adults and can limit their interest and ability to be active in their homes and in the community. A majority of hospitalized fall victims are transferred to short-term care or skilled nursing facilities instead of returning to their homes.

By promoting the implementation of evidenced-based fall prevention programs statewide, Colorado can decrease the rate of fall-related hospitalizations among older adults by 10 percent, preventing more than 10,000 hospitalized falls annually. Physicians play an important role in caring for older adults and reducing these devastating injuries.


What can Physicians do to prevent falls? Adopt the STEADI Toolkit as a Part of Clinical Practice 
A study released in the New England Journal of Medicine saw a 10% reduction of older adult falls in targeted communities through the implementation of a multifaceted community based falls reduction program involving medical groups and the community.

The STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) Tool Kit, created by the CDC, is a multifaceted community based falls reduction program helping physicians assess fall risk and make referrals to physical therapy or community programs through the Fall Prevention Network or local Area Agencies on Aging. The STEADI Tool Kit contains resources and tools that will help make fall prevention an integral part of a physician's clinical practice.

How can you learn more? Call Aerin LaCerte with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to schedule a STEADI Tool Kit educational presentation or webinar: 303-692-2530 or Aerin.LaCerte@state.co.us.

Benefits of Adopting STEADI: 
In addition to the benefit of reducing falls among patients, STEADI’s benefits include the following incentives:
  • Meaningful Use 
  • CMS Annual Wellness Visit 
  • Advantage to ACO’s 
  • COPIC points 
  • Referral lists of community fall prevention programs 
  • Demonstrate leadership in a community wide effort 
  • Potential 20 Board Recertification Credits (ABIM / ABFM) if a clinical practice tracks and reports implementation of STEADI 

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