Hillside Health & Rehabilitation receives award for quality of life program

MISSOULA, Mont. (March 29, 2019) – Hillside Health & Rehabilitation, located in Missoula, Mont., managed by The Goodman Group, has been selected to receive one of The Foundation for Post-Acute & Long-Term Care Medicine’s (AMDA) 2019 Quality Improvement & Health Outcome Awards (QIHO) for its quality of life program Taking a Proactive Approach to Fall Prevention.

Falls are recognized as a common problem among skilled care communities. Taking a Proactive Approach to Fall Prevention is a program that was implemented with the goal to reduce the occurrence of falls to less than 6.5 percent. There were several components of the implementation process to ensure that the program would be effective and sustainable. The implementation of the components was phased in throughout a 6-month timeframe. The components of the program included educational opportunities for staff; interventions for residents at risk of falls; an informal audit for program evaluation; and staff communication and ownership of the program.

To ensure that the program would be successful, individualized care plans and assessments were created for each resident prior to their admission. Staff recognized that understanding the resident’s prior home environment and routine would be useful in the prevention of falls. If the resident was determined to be at risk for falls, the factors that contribute to the risk were addressed on the initial care plan and the resident was placed on the “Falling Star” program. The Falling Star program is an organizational intervention that allows staff to easily identify residents that are at risk of a fall. A star is placed on the resident’s door frame to indicate the resident is on the program.

Staff from every department at Hillside Health & Rehabilitation were encouraged to be part of the fall prevention team. From December 2017 to September 2018, the fall rate was reduced from 14.23 percent to 3.05 percent.

The community was recognized at The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine 2019 annual symposium in Atlanta, on Saturday, March 9. In addition, Hillside Health & Rehabilitation was given an unrestricted award of $1,000 in recognition of the accomplishment. “We’re excited to see this program start to successfully improve the lives of our residents,” said Bernice Zimmerman, executive director of Hillside Health & Rehabilitation.

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