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Don’t Fall for That: A Residency Curricular Innovation about Fall Prevention

Amid a growing geriatric population and rise in frailty-related morbidity, fall prevention represents an opportunity to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs. Traditional lectures on geriatric content have had limited impact on physician behaviors; however, use of multimodal teaching can be more effective in building knowledge and skills. To develop a novel, engaging fall prevention program to empower internal medicine residents to identify and manage patients at risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Two 20-minute multimodal workshops were created: 1) a classroom session with a video depicting a fall scenario, a team exercise (“Where’s the Fall Risk?”) and review of the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria; and 2) a small-group session reviewing a screening algorithm, case study, physical examination maneuvers, and patient resources. The first workshop included a 5-minute Kaiser Permanente video depicting an older couple whose travel plans are upended by a fall and how they modify their home and lifestyle, a competitive game in which trainees identify fall hazards, an overview of Beers Criteria, and Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program questions to apply knowledge to practice. The second workshop, held in small groups before clinic, included a discussion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s fall prevention screening algorithm, review of a case, and education on how to properly perform the Timed Up and Go test. Fall prevention remains an important yet undertaught topic for trainees and practicing physicians. These brief multicomponent workshops can be easily implemented and adapted for all clinical learners.

Authors: Lee DR; Lo JC; Tran HN

Perm J. 2020;24. Epub 2019-12-06.

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