Study reveals EHR data can proactively determine senior patients who are at-risk for falls

Nov. 2, 2017

The Fall 2017 issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management, the online research journal of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), delves into the latest research on topics such as repurposing electronic health record (EHR) data to identify fall risks.

Authors of the study, “An Electronic Health Record Data-driven Model for Identifying Older Adults at Risk of Unintentional Falls,” determined that increased public health efforts are needed to booster fall risk identification and prevention in primary care. National studies suggest that physicians caring for seniors only provide fall risk screenings 30% to 37% of the time.

The study’s authors revealed a list of factors such as age, sex, and specific diagnoses that could be useful in development of decision support tools that proactively identify patients whom screening would be beneficial and target efforts specifically to those patient. Researchers suggested implementing clinical decision support into EHRs to enable enhanced team-based care for patients at risk for unintentional falls.

“This research demonstrates that electronic health record data can be applied in clinical decision support,” said AHIMA interim CEO Pamela Lane, MS, RHIA. “By leveraging the data in a way that is sensitive to the time constraints of the regular office visit and the reduction of healthcare costs, identifying patients at risk of falls can be streamlined.”

Visit Perspectives in Health Information Management for the full study

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