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Smart mobility-aids reduces fall rate 39% at Essentia Health Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes over eight-months

Essentia Health Oak Crossing reported a 39% reduction in fall rate over an eight-month period due to implementation of fall-prevention technology, according to a news release from health provider

Oak Crossing nursing home in Detroit Lakes.(Meagan Pittelko/Tribune)
Essentia Health Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes
Tribune file photo
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DETROIT LAKES — The fall rate of residents at Essentia Health Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes decreased 39% over an eight-month period due to the implementation of fall-prevention technology, according to a news release from the health provider.

In August 2021, the health provider provided smart mobility-aid attachments, designed by WalkWise, to 40 residents of the nursing home to collect data about their movements and monitor compliance with the mobility aids. Therapy and nursing staff monitored and were sent notifications of potential emergency situations and changes in behavior with consent of the residents.

According to the news release, the data was collected to improve timely interventions, like therapy, care-plan changes, discussions of fall risks and mobility decline.

"These smart mobility-aid attachments have been instrumental in keeping our residents safe and healthy," said Jordan Bjorhus, director of rehabilitation at Essentia Health. "In addition to alerting our staff of serious falls, this technology prevented many accidents from occurring in the first place by collecting data that helped our care team determine when residents should be brought in for therapy or when their current care plan needed to be re-evaluated."

Data concerning resident falls was collected from January 2021 to March 2022 with the devices being introduced in August 2021.

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Between January 2021 to August 2021, Essentia Health Oak Crossing averaged 10 falls per 1,000 resident days. Since introducing the smart-mobility attachments, the nursing home improved their fall rate to 6.1 falls per 1,000 resident days.

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