Project marks collaboration among U.S. home health agencies to prevent patient falls
The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare (the Center) today announced it is launching the Home Health Falls project to prevent patient falls with and without injury under home health care. Patient falls are a significant barrier to safe health care that will only increase as the population of adults 65 years or older continues to grow. Fall-related injuries at home are among the leading causes of U.S. readmission to acute care, costing home health services and long-term care facilities $29.2 billion on fall-related injuries in 2015.
“Tens of thousands of patients fall under home health care every year, and many of these falls result in moderate to severe injuries. These falls and injuries can be prevented, and we are pleased to see these forward-looking organizations become partners to address preventable events that should never occur,” said Anne Marie Benedicto, head of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare. “As the population of the United States ages, it is imperative that more effort be given to decrease the number of patient falls, fall related injuries and medical costs.”
The Center, a leader in Robust Process Improvement® (RPI®) that drives high reliability health care through advanced improvement and change management training, is leading the Home Health Falls improvement project in collaboration with the Center for Patient Safety and four home health agencies: Visiting Nurse Science in New York City; VNA Care of New England in Rhode Island; VNA Health in Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Hope Health in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Participants of the Home Health Falls improvement project come from different agencies and do not have a common improvement approach. To create a consistent improvement framework, the project started with the Center’s Yellow Belt and Leaders Facilitating Change training, which provided a foundation of process improvement skills and tools for project leads from each agency. Yellow Belt training provides tools and skills to deploy improvement tools in daily work, while Facilitating Change gives trainees a structured, formal change management methodology. Following the kickoff, the Center Black Belts will mentor project leads at their agencies through various phases of data-driven problem solving.
Following the project’s completion in December 2021, the Center will pilot the work with other home health agencies to determine whether the contributing factors identified and the targeted solutions validated by the four participating home health agencies can be replicated.
Since its inception in 2008, the Center for Transforming Healthcare has led projects with teams from health care organizations across the United States to identify effective, practical solutions to some of health care’s most persistent patient care challenges.
For more information, visit the Center for Transforming Healthcare website at www.centerfortransforminghealthcare.org.
About The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare
Created in 2008 as a nonprofit affiliate of The Joint Commission, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare creates products and services that promote and develop high reliability in health care, including the Targeted Solutions Tool® for Hand Hygiene, Safe Surgery, Hand-off Communications, and Preventing Falls, and the Oro® 2.0 High Reliability Self-Assessment web-based tool. In addition, the Center partners directly with health care organizations to assist them in building systems and structures that support high reliability transformation. The Center also provides training and program building in Robust Process Improvement® – Lean Six Sigma and formal Change Management – that enables clinicians and health care workers to deliver higher quality, safer patient care as well as teaches and mentors leaders and staff as they create strong and vibrant safety and improvement cultures.
Robust Process Improvement and RPI are registered trademarks of The Joint Commission.
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