RNAO Fellow

Engaging clients and families in falls prevention

Deborah Lappen

Award: RNAO/AMS Fellow

Co-Sponsor: Baycrest

  • Patient/family/caregiver voices

As a geriatric rehabilitation nurse who is passionate about improving care for my patients, I was excited to begin my fellowship, which focused on engaging clients and families in falls prevention. Falls are the predominant cause of injury for older adults across Canada, accounting for over 85% of all injury-related hospitalizations (RNAO, 2011). Baycrest Health Sciences, a Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO®) selected falls prevention and client centered care as the main quality improvement initiatives in the organization for 2016/2017. The RNAO/AMS fellowship stream which emphasizes caring and compassion, was a perfect fit for bringing these two initiatives together and for developing my understanding of including client voice in falls care planning.

Person/client-centered care has been recognized as an essential element of healthcare. This fellowship has taught me the value of incorporating the patient voice into care planning to foster an atmosphere of caring and compassion to enhance patient outcomes. It has been most empowering to witness staff engage patients in falls prevention and care planning, which in turn has increased client satisfaction and has positively impacted client care practices. I am deeply grateful to the RNAO and for the support that I have received from my mentor and mentoring team, as well as others within my organization for this incredible learning opportunity. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen for this fellowship, and I look forward to sharing my experience with others.