In August 2013 the Commission's reducing harm from falls programme Clinical Lead Sandy Blake, completed a review of risk assessment and care planning for falls prevention in district health board (DHB) hospitals.
As well as recommending evidence-based approaches to risk assessment and care planning, the review promotes consistency in these processes at a national level.
Since completing the review, the programme has provided support to DHBs as they monitor their progress against the Commission's quality and safety markers for falls prevention.
Safe care environments are recommended, but these should be considered separate from individualised care plans. While there are essential elements which make the care environment safe for all patients or residents, these universal measures do not ensure individualised care. Risk assessment and care planning are the processes fundamental to ensuring that individual patients receive the interventions and support which address their particular risks.
In September 2014, the programme developed a set of risk assessment and care planning tools adapted from the risk assessment and care planning process Sandy Blake had implemented at Whanganui DHB. These tools have been provided as a guide for use across the health and age-related residential care sector.
Risk assessment and care planning at Whanganui DHB
A falls screening tool and falls risk assessment have been developed within the TrendCare system by the falls care indicator group at Whanganui District Health Board (DHB) and implemented in all clinical areas in Wanganui Hospital.
This work was the result of advice in Topic 3 Falls risk assessment and care planning – what really matters, and developed within the TrendCare system by the national TrendCare coordinator group at Whanganui DHB. The content of the tools has been guided by the latest evidence available. It was also reinforced by Dr Frances Healey in her recent visit to New Zealand (April 2014).
An interim paper-based falls individualised care plan aligns the care plan with the essential elements of care detailed on the risk assessment. The alignment is demonstrated in the Whanganui DHB falls care plan teaching chart.