**The following is one of the stories from the Summer Richmond Residential Care Newsletter, which features content from Minoru and Richmond Lions Manor-Bridgeport, with contributions from staff, leaders, and project managers.
Falls, at any age, can result in serious injuries. But for seniors—a fall can trigger a devastating chain of events. From chronic pain and loss of independence, to reduced quality of life and serious injuries, falls among seniors have become a significant concern not only across our community, but across the country.
Witnessing first-hand the damage that can result from a fall in Residential Care, staff at Minoru Residence identified reducing falls at the facility as key metric for their team-based quality improvement initiative. Team Based Quality Improvement (TBQI) is a care staff driven, quality improvement initiative, allowing clinical leaders and their teams the opportunity to identify areas for improvement and collaborate to come up with solutions. One of two owned and operated Long Term Care facilities in Richmond, Minoru is also one of the first facilities within Vancouver Coastal Health to use a TBQI approach to help us strive for better results.
According to Statistics Canada, falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians with 20 to 30 percent of seniors experiencing one or more falls a year. Knowing this, the team at Minoru decided to collect their own data to find out how my residents experienced a fall at their facility and determine the best ways to mitigate these incidents from occurring.
The team came up with the following steps to improve the fall rates at their site:
Create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Offer fall-prevention staff education and in-service opportunities
Create a list of residents currently using chair alarm systems
Conduct an audit of all chair alarms to ensure they meet manufacturing standards
Since implementing these improvements across the facility, staff have noticed a huge improvement on the use and maintenance in chair alarms to help prevent falls. One LPN said that “most, if not all chair alarm sensor pads are now always up to date and checked on a monthly basis. I have not heard of a fall caused by a malfunctioned sensor pad."
Krista Carlson, Residential Care Operational Initiatives Lead says this TBQI project is a great example of how staff can come together, identify areas for quality improvement, and work together to make a change.
“The TBQI team and staff at Minoru have done a great job to take this challenge into their own hands and make a real difference. It's great to see their initiative, their desire to find solutions, and how they've worked together to find and implement these improvements."