Enhancing health education about falls

Researchers from the College of Science, Health and Engineering and Healthscope’s Academic and Research Collaborative in Health have evaluated health professional education to improve practice and reduce the risk of hospital falls

Researchers from the College of Science, Health and Engineering and Healthscope’s Academic and Research Collaborative in Health have evaluated health professional education to improve practice and reduce the risk of hospital falls.

“There were over 50,000 falls in Australian hospitals in 2019 that resulted in injuries, disability, mortality, increased length of stay and re-admissions,” says lead researcher, Dr Louise Shaw.

“Educating healthcare professionals on falls prevention is recognised as a priority, however the best methods to develop, deliver and evaluate this education was unclear.”

Dr Shaw and her team have developed a new approach based on the 4P educational model (presage, planning, process and product). They carefully constructed an educational program around how to use a new hospital falls screening tool to mitigate risk.

“Health professionals showed changes in behaviour that persisted six months after the education, enabling them to implement the new process into clinical practice,” says Shaw.

The approach also optimised the planning, delivery, evaluation and reporting of the education intervention for health professionals.

“Health care professionals are usually eager to apply evidence-based approaches to improve the quality and safety of patient care,” says Shaw.

“By using interactive teaching methodologies, such as the ones employed in this study, they may be more likely to think critically, employ clinical reasoning into their daily clinical practice and educate others to achieve this goal.”

Read the paper.

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Learn more about the Academic and Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH).