Patricia Dykes of Brigham and Women's Hospital and and her colleagues published an interesting article in JAMA about preventing falls. Falls are a tough problem to solve, and these folks experimented with using a computer-assisted algorithm to design individualized fall protocols. The results were promising.
Most places use the Morse Fall Scale (MFS) to assess each patient's risk for falling. However, the linking of an individual patient's risk profile to a fall prevention plan is not usually standardized.
In contrast, this group used a "Fall TIPS" toolkit that automatically tailors each patient's fall risk profile (as calculated using the MFS) to a fall prevention plan that is based on the patient-specific determinants of risk.
I was curious to learn more, and Patti kindly explained to me in a note:
The interventions that we programmed into the toolkit are based on what we learned from our focus groups with professionals/paraprofessionals/patients/family members are both effective and feasible in acute, short stay hospitals. The Fall TIPS toolkit places this tailored plan within the work flow of all team members, including patients and family members.
This is really nice work. Recall that we are experimenting with a different set of ideas in our GRACE protocol. Eventually, as we all share results, the number of falls everywhere will diminish.