Using Root Cause Analysis to Inform a Falls Practice Change in the Home Care Setting.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Falls are a significant health problem in community-dwelling older adults, resulting in injuries, deaths, and increased healthcare costs. Falls were a quality concern for a Northeastern home care agency and this project aimed to evaluate the falls prevention process for older adults receiving home care services by determining potential root causes of falls and to identify a practice change. This quality improvement project used a root cause analysis methodology with a retrospective matched case-control design. Records of patients with falls were assessed for falls prevention process fidelity and compared with patients without a fall matched on the Missouri Alliance for Home Care-10 (MAHC-10) assessment, examining plan of care accuracy and patient fall risk factors. Findings indicated fidelity concerns in the fall prevention process, with gaps in care planning aligned with identified risk factors. Interventions to mitigate identified MAHC-10 risk factors on care plans were present less than 50% of the time for four of the six factors. Polypharmacy (7.46%) and pain affecting function (9.21%) were most frequently unaddressed risk factors in the care plan. Recommendations included implementation of a falls prevention pathway, including standardized falls risk assessment, universal falls precautions in the care plan with tailored interventions based on risk factors, and referral initiation when necessary.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brullo, J; Rushton, S; Brickner, C; Madden-Baer, R; Peng, T

Published Date

  • January 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 40 - 48

PubMed ID

  • 34994719

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2374-4537

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2374-4529

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/nhh.0000000000001036


  • eng