Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and disability in community-dwelling older adults.
Evidence-based fall prevention activities in primary care, including nurse-facilitated wellness visits, have been limited. Barriers including patient engagement and adherence exist.
A quality improvement project integrating components of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Stopping Elder Accidents, Deaths & Injury (STEADI) was introduced by registered nurses during older adult annual wellness visits.
Nurses assessed risk and implemented patient-centered fall prevention plans including follow-up.
A total of 522 patients were screened, with 21% (n = 111) having increased fall risk. Of these, 78% (n = 87) engaged in home safety, gait, strength, and balance assessments and the majority (n = 83; 95%) participated in fall prevention plans of care. At 2-week follow-up, patients' self-reported adherence was 74% for gait/strength/balance and 67% for home safety.
An expanded primary care team model shows promise for promoting fall prevention behaviors.