Percentage of patients 65 years of age and older who were screened for future fall risk during the measurement period
As the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for older adults, falls are one of the most common and significant health issues facing people aged 65 years or older (Schneider, Shubert and Harmon, 2010). Moreover, the rate of falls increases with age (Dykes et al., 2010). Older adults are five times more likely to be hospitalized for fall-related injuries than any other cause-related injury. It is estimated that one in every three adults over 65 will fall each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015). In those over age 80, the rate of falls increases to fifty percent (Doherty et al., 2009). Falls are also associated with substantial cost and resource use, approaching $30,000 per fall hospitalization Woolcott et al., 2011). Identifying at-risk patients is the most important part of management, as applying preventive measures in this vulnerable population can have a profound effect on public health (al-Aama, 2011). Family physicians have a pivotal role in screening older patients for risk of falls, and applying preventive strategies for patients at risk (al-Aama, 2011).
Clinical Recommendation Statement
All older persons who are under the care of a heath professional (or their caregivers) should be asked at least once a year about falls. (AGS/BGS/AAOS, 2010)
Older persons who present for medical attention because of a fall, report recurrent falls in the past year, or demonstrate abnormalities of gait and/or balance should have a fall evaluation performed. This evaluation should be performed by a clinician with appropriate skills and experience, which may necessitate referral to a specialist (e.g., geriatrician). (AGS/BGS/AAOS, 2010)