New Care Planning Communication Tool Helps Physicians with Falls Risk and Injury Mitigation
August 24, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
A medical director at several nursing homes developed and implemented a letter template that documents and communicates an attending physician's decision-making process when developing a care plan for a long-term care resident who has been identified as at high risk for falls. The letter is discussed in an article written by the developer and published in the August 2018 issue of JAMDA. The author describes his experience with implementing the tool at various nursing homes where he is medical director, and how he relies on a falls champion at the facility to facilitate use of the tool. At those facilities, the falls champion is responsible for identifying residents at risk for falling or suffering injury in the event of a fall during admission and populates the template with information such as physician and resident names and medical history. The champion then sends the letter to the medical director for review, where he or the consultant pharmacist will identify medications and mechanisms that may increase the resident's risk of falling (i.e., psychotropic, antihypertensive, diuretic, and anticoagulant drugs). The letter is populated and sent back to the champion, who then sends it to the resident's physician by the deadline established by the care planning team and logs the time and date of transmission.