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AHRQ On-Time Falls Prevention Program Evaluation

Falls are the most frequently reported adverse event among nursing home residents. They are associated with considerable mortality, morbidity, and reduced functioning.

The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) oversaw the development of a model program that — using best practice guidelines and quality improvement methods — aimed to improve nursing facilities’ ability to identify and manage residents at risk for fall.

Once developed, AHRQ contracted with Abt Global to implement and evaluate the On-Time Falls Prevention Program in 15 randomly selected nursing homes from a single large facility chain to determine whether the program reduced falls and improved the facility staff’s ability to identify residents at highest risk.

The Abt team:

  • Convened panel discussions with technical experts and other key stakeholders in the field of nursing home risk assessment. They provided input and feedback on both the study’s design and analytic results;
  • Assessed the extent to which key program components improved care processes and structures; and
  • Performed a rigorous random assignment outcome evaluation using data from electronic medical records, to assess the extent to which the On-Time Falls Program reduced falls, injurious falls, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations.

The team also developed three scholarly publications summarizing project findings, available below:

North America