Bright Lights Award
The City of Lakes Family Health Team received a Bright Lights award at the recent 2016 AFHTO Conference for ‘Collaboration Across Interprofessional Teams to Foster Improvement’. The COLFHT, in partnership with the Espanola FHT, Powassan FHT, Great Northern FHT, East End FHT and Temagami FHT, were recognized for outstanding achievement for our technology-based Falls Prevention Program. This involved several partners who collaborated to incorporate a falls risk assessment into the electronic medical record (EMR) system along with links to prevention and education programs. The program was spearheaded by our Quality Improvement Decision Support Specialist, Meghan Peters.
These six teams in northeastern Ontario worked in partnership with the Public Health Department, the LHIN and the Stay on Your Feet Initiative to create an innovative approach to falls prevention. This was in response to an identified need -- data show that one in three seniors have a fall within one year. This falls prevention program integrates a falls risk screen and assessment tool into the EMR and embeds links to community prevention and education resources, such as exercise classes. Providers can direct at-risk seniors to these programs, proactively working to keep them on their feet. The screening effort continues to grow and develop. Patients use tablet-based technology to complete the falls prevention screening themselves; and their feedback, along with input from providers, has led to improvements to the process. An added bonus is that the program allowed the teams to incorporate falls prevention and screening without significantly affecting workload. The program is an excellent example of collaboration and partnership, and it demonstrates the importance of looking beyond silos and communicating with other providers in order to provide comprehensive care to a rural patient population.