April Falls 2017

The theme for April Falls 2017 at a national level was Stand up to falls, which will be familiar to many. We are revisited this earlier theme as part of our efforts to sustain the success of New Zealand public hospitals in reducing the number of in-hospital falls that result in a broken hip. New Zealand appears to be the first country to achieve this on a national scale, and this success was clearly articulated in last year’s New Zealand Medical Journal article and the associated British Medical Journal editorial.

We have created some new Stand up to falls resources for April Falls 2017, to sit alongside the suite of existing resources:

About FallsStop

One of the features of April Falls 2017 was a follow-up visit from Associate Professor Anne-Marie Hill PhD. Anne-Marie hosted four free ‘FallsStop’ seminars between 3 and 7 April 2017 in Dunedin, Wellington and twice in Auckland. Click here for videos from the Wellington seminar.

FallsStop is about reducing falls in the in-patient setting. This was a key focus for the Commission, and while our focus has now expanded into aged care and community settings, we all have an overarching duty of care to make those in our hospital care as safe as possible.

Anne-Marie is a full-time research academic in the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University. She is an Australian Physiotherapy Association-titled gerontological physiotherapist, and has lead highly successful falls prevention projects in community, residential care and post-hospital populations.

She recently led a large eight-site cluster randomised trial in Western Australia demonstrating that providing patient education significantly reduces injurious falls among older hospital patients. She has also investigated the provision of peer-led falls prevention education by trained older volunteers to older community dwelling adults.

The seminars have been designed for hospital falls champions, nursing management, and physiotherapy, gerontology and aged care representatives. The seminars are a chance to quiz Anne-Marie and learn how her success can be replicated in New Zealand.

The seminars will include presentations from local falls prevention leaders and members of Whanganui DHB’s ‘care with dignity’ team. ‘Care with dignity’ has been highly successful in reducing harm from in-hospital falls among patients with cognitive impairment.

Visit the event listing page for more information about the seminars.

Resources, and others, such as the From Atlas to Action Atlas of Healthcare Variation workbook and DHB-specific posters mentioned below, can be ordered via the Commission (the form to order resources was sent to DHB quality and risk managers and directors of nursing on 17 February, with orders closing on Friday 24 February 2017).

We are aware that regional and local level themes are being developed and we would love to know more about these – please get in touch with us if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas.

The Atlas of Healthcare Variation

As part of standing up to falls, knowing your local and regional falls data is a key component. On 3 April 2017 the updated Atlas of Healthcare Variation falls domain was released. As in previous years we created a workbook, so DHBs can analyse their data compared with national averages, and DHB-specific posters that show falls data by DHB region.

The Atlas of Healthcare Variation is designed to identify variation in the delivery of health care services across New Zealand. The goal of the Atlas is to stimulate debate on selected topics with a view to understanding whether observed variation is genuine and based on differences between populations, or whether it reflects variable practice. Ultimately, the intention is not to make a judgement but to stimulate debate and conversation. Typically, large variation in practice may indicate areas of clinical uncertainty, variable interpretation of the evidence, or it may highlight issues of access.

This Atlas domain presents data by DHB on falls in people aged 50 and over, and includes data on Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims following a fall, hospital admission due to a fall, average bed-days and hip fracture indicators.

Falls-related injury prevention, with a focus on older adults, is also a high priority for both the ACC and the Ministry of Health. The Commission is working closely with both organisations to support the sector in this important area.

Please email Gabrielle Nicholson if you’d like to discuss April Falls 2017.

Last updated 05/07/2017