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Will Electronic Record Reviews Prevent Patient Falls?

Abt Global will determine if routine review of patients’ reports generated from electronic health records will help to prevent falls nursing homes. The $721,435 contract, awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), involves piloting and evaluating a program that trains front-line nursing home staff to check patients’ risk factors for falls and establish interventions to avert them. Under the On-Time Falls Prevention Program, developed by Abt’s subcontractor, Health Management Strategies, staff in nursing homes can intervene with patients at risk of falling by providing the patient with a cane or walker, for example, before a fall happens. Abt will evaluate outcomes over the course of the two-year contract. This is one of the first health information technology (health IT) applications targeted towards a team-based prevention process – rather than to individual clinicians – to improve patient outcomes. Abt recently completed an evaluation of a similar nursing home intervention to prevent new pressure ulcers, commonly known as bed sores. This intervention also incorporates staff reviews of patient electronic health records to determine risk factors.
North America