Reducing Harm from Falls programme evaluation

22 Aug 2016 | Reducing Harm from Falls

The Reducing Harm from Falls Programme is a national programme led by the Health Quality & Safety Commission. The programme was established in mid-2012 and was one of the first focus areas of the national patient safety campaign Open for better care. The New Zealand Triple Aim was one of the programme’s founding principles. 

In November 2015, Synergia was commissioned to evaluate whether the programme was meeting its objectives and intended results; and to assist in determining what the sector needs from the Commission, to support a sustained focus on reducing harm from falls across care settings.

The programme was designed to meet the needs of those experiencing the greatest harm from falls and focused on people aged 65 years and over. This group experiences a high number of falls combined with a high prevalence of underlying conditions, which increases the risk of falling and injury. The programme initially focused on hospital settings, providing an opportunity to develop and test interventions supported through systematic data monitoring. This was followed by a modest extension into aged residential care facilities in 2013. In 2015 the programme was extended to include primary care and community settings, where the evidence for effecting change and improved outcomes for the older population is strongest.

The report is structured in a way that takes us on the 'falls journey'. It reviews the programme logic, development phases, engagement approaches, network development, data and measurement, and resources and tools to build capability across the sector. It identifies next steps to ensure there is a sustained focus on this high harm area.

A key outcome for the programme was to achieve a 20 percent reduction in the number of fractured neck of femur (FNOF) over two years, from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015, in relation to inpatient falls. In June 2015, the Commission achieved a sustained significant reduction in in-hospital falls that lead to FNOF. This equates to a 25 percent reduction in falls with FNOF in 2014–15 period.

Last updated 22/10/2021