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Reducing Risk of Falls | Pharmacy QI | Sep 2020

September 2020 | Practical Tips for Quality Improvement | View PDF

  1. MONITOR residents on medications that can increase risk of falls:
    • Psychotropic medications: Monitor blood pressure, watch for abnormal involuntary movements with anti-psychotics
    • Opioids: Monitor pain control; regularly re-evaluate need for medication
    • Cardiovascular drugs: Monitor blood pressure, heart rate, electrolytes
    • Antihyperglycemic drugs: Monitor blood (or interstitial) glucose per Diabetes Canada guidelines
    • Anticonvulsant and antiparkinsonian medications: Monitor serum levels of drug where appropriate
  2. ASSESS
    • Complete regular clinical assessments and medication reviews, integrating resident specific factors (e.g., renal function, weight, cognition), medical status, physical limitations, and preferences, for residents who have been identified as being at risk of falls.
  3. COMMUNICATE
    • Engage residents and/or their families in dialogue when completing admission or discharge medication reconciliation
    • Ensure accurate communication of medical history to other healthcare teams during transfer of care.
    • Deficits in communicating necessary information during hospital admission or discharge has led to incorrect orders on admission or conflicting or absent information at discharge, resulting in higher risk of falls.

References:
ISMP Canada. Medication incidents that increase the risk of falls: a multi-incident analysis. 2015. https://www.ismp-canada.org/download/safetyBulletins/2015/ISMPCSB2015-12_Falls.pdf.
Accessed July 29, 2020.

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