Preventing Falls: Improving the Health and Quality of Life of Canadians

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Preventing Falls: Improving the Health and Quality of Life of Canadians

A slippery floor, a moment of weakness, a walker out of reach… More than one third of seniors in Canada will experience a fall, making it the leading cause of injury among this group. What if it happens to your loved one? 

A new report, Preventing Falls: From Evidence to Improvement in Canadian Health Care, examines falls and falls prevention in acute care, long-term care and home care settings.

Within the partnership between Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), the report looks at the consequences of falls on individuals and the health care system. Accounting for over 85 percent of all injury-related hospitalizations in seniors, falls can result in disability, chronic pain, loss of independence, reduced quality of life, and even death. The direct health care costs for fall-related injuries in Canada are estimated at $2 billion annually.

Given the aging population, Accreditation Canada, CIHI and CPSI are working to improve falls prevention. Some of the initiatives driving improvements include:

  • Accreditation Canada’s falls prevention strategy and home safety risk assessment, required in all accredited organizations
  • CIHI’s ongoing collection and reporting of falls data, to better inform future prevention efforts
  • CPSI’s falls prevention and injury reduction kit, which includes strategies, webinars, and an online reporting system

“We recognize that falls among seniors are a significant health concern, and that is why falls prevention and injury minimization strategies are part of our accreditation program,” says Wendy Nicklin, President and CEO of Accreditation Canada. “The report provides further evidence that can be used to improve patient safety and reduce injury from falls, thereby contributing to the health of seniors in Canada.”

“Our data provides insight on this challenge, which persists across the health system,” says Jeremy Veillard, Vice President of Research and Analysis at CIHI. “For example, in 2012–2013, Canadian seniors experienced almost 85,000 fall-related hospitalizations, and 8 percent resulted in an in-hospital death.”

“At the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, we know that falls can be a serious patient safety and quality of life issue,” says Hugh MacLeod, CEO at CPSI. “Through the work we are doing in medication safety, surgical safety and home care safety, the greatest impact for falls will be a successful prevention strategy.”

About Accreditation Canada
Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits health care and social services organizations in Canada and around the world. Its comprehensive accreditation programs foster ongoing quality improvement through evidence-based standards and a rigorous external peer review. Accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), Accreditation Canada has been helping organizations improve health care quality and patient safety for more than 55 years. accreditation.ca

About the Canadian Institute for Health Information
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) collects and analyzes information on health and health care in Canada and makes it publicly available. CIHI is a not-for-profit, independent organization dedicated to forging a common approach to Canadian health information. CIHI’s goal: to provide timely, accurate and comparable information. CIHI’s data and reports inform health policies, support the effective delivery of health services and raise awareness among Canadians of the factors that contribute to good health. This year marks CIHI’s 20th anniversary of operation. cihi.ca

About the Canadian Patient Safety Institute
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of ideas and best practices to achieve a transformation in patient safety. Funded by Health Canada, CPSI reflects the desire to close the gap between the health care we have and the health care we deserve. patientsafetyinstitute.ca

Accreditation CanadaCanadian Institute for Health Information