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A senior adult woman sits on the floor needing assistance after a fall.Falls assessment as a quality measure has long been a CGWEP goal. Between 2010 and 2015 we partnered with Mountain AHEC and Physical Therapy faculty from Western Carolina University. In this partnership, we implemented standardized falls risk screening for all patients over the age of 65 in three physician practices in western North Carolina. In the summer of 2012, we reported an increase of 37% in falls screening rates. Consequently, this demonstrated an improvement in practice and ultimately in outcomes. Additionally, our research results were featured in two posters at the Gerontological Society of America.

Currently, the CGWEP works with the nine practices of Piedmont Health Services, Inc, a Federally Qualified Health Center in central NC, to improve falls assessment rates. For example doctors at the PHS, Inc. Burlington clinic improved falls assessment from 63% to 89% in all their older adult patients.

Statewide Falls Prevention Coalition

Every year, one in four older adults falls. According to North Carolina Division of Public Health, these falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries as well as the second leading cause of nonfatal injuries. In addition, falls have an annual cost of $50 Billion dollars.

In response, health and government leaders formed the NC Falls Prevention Coalition. Specifically, this group uses education and training to reduce the number of falls, falls-related injuries, and seriousness of injuries resulting from falls. Click here to see our priorities.