Preventing Falls: How to Stay Informed and Prioritize Care

Man and woman walking in nature

More than one in four elderly people (ages 65 and older) suffer from a fall every year. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics demonstrate that just one fall is a preamble to a far scarier story: 

  • Falling just one time can double the chances of that elderly person falling again, which could lead to death
  • 20% of falls result in serious injury
  • Less than 50% of those who suffer from a fall will tell their doctor

See more statistics from the CDC’s Facts About Falls here.

Many Falls are Preventable

“Falls among adults 65 and older caused over 36,000 deaths in 2020, making it the leading cause of injury and death for that group.”(CDC, Older Adults Fall Prevention

Many falls are preventable and, as mentioned above, approximately half go unreported. Providers can stay informed with predictive information about their elderly patients to anticipate falls and take action to keep our senior population healthy.

How to Stay Informed: Falls Risk Indicator

One source of information for providers to help fill this reporting gap is Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data on non-transport falls. To help address this issue, UHIN partnered with Utah’s National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS).

UHIN ingests EMS non-transport fall information from NEMSIS and uses it in conjunction with patient age and past encounter diagnoses that have been reported to the CHIE to provide a yes/no risk assessment of a patient’s risk of falling in the short term. Utilizing the CHIE’s Falls Risk Indicator, providers receive timely information about potential falls within their patient population, empowering them to contact patients with the right support to keep them healthy and independent.

Providers can sign up for the Falls Risk Indicator through CHIE Alerts.

How to Prioritize Care: LACE Scores

In addition to the Falls Risk Indicator, notification alerts include data pertaining to the patient’s condition and can include LACE scores to help caregivers prioritize care. LACE scores are industry indicators that assign a score on a scale of 1-19 assessing the patient’s risk of readmission. The score is a combination of the L:length of stay in a hospital (in number of days), A: acuity of admission, C: comorbidities, and E: emergency department visits in the last 6 months.

What is a Patient Event Notification?

Notifications about patients which physicians can receive as a file at their preferred frequency (real time, daily, weekly, monthly) by logging into MYUHIN or integrated into their EHR.

CHIE Alerts with Falls Risk Indicator and LACE Score

CHIE Alerts are automated electronic notifications informing providers about an event their patients have recently experienced. Admission, Discharge and Transfer (ADT) Alerts fill in the missing pieces necessary to manage patient care. The Falls Risk Indicator and LACE Score may be included in CHIE Alerts.

Providers opt-in to receive notifications because they’re an important component of continuity of care. Providers can identify the patients who require critical intervention and schedule follow-up appointments after hospitalizations. Notifications help prevent readmissions, improve care coordination and patient experiences. An additional benefit includes revenue integrity; by allowing providers to bill the appropriate level code, which may be of a higher value in instances of transition of care patients. 

See how Granger medical clinic used ADT Alerts to improve their patient care.

Payers that receive alerts can route patients into case management, which helps to reduce high emergency room department utilizations through increased visibility into member care activities and utilization trends.

Alerts can be tailored by type, such as inpatient, outpatient or emergency, and frequency based on needs and desires. Community providers and payers can receive notifications by subscribing to the CHIE Alerts service and providing UHIN with a panel of patients representative of the population for which they are providing care.

Click below to sign up to receive CHIE Alerts that include a Falls Risk Indicator and LACE Score.