The Ontario Fall Prevention Collaborative is a diverse group of health and social service practitioners from across Ontario who come together to share information, analyze trends and respond collectively to the need for change and innovation in fall prevention.
In Ontario, fall prevention initiatives for older adults vary in their scope, approach, implementation and measurement of outcomes. The heterogeneous, fragmented nature of fall prevention efforts make it difficult to ascertain what interventions are working, how interventions can be improved and where a greater investment of resources or an increased level of co-ordination and collaboration between key stakeholders is required to maximize impact (Dr. Brian Hyndman, 2018).
The Collaborative advances excellence in fall prevention practice by carrying out applied research and practice development activities that individual practitioners do not have the time/ capacity to address on their own. The work of the Collaborative aligns with the vision for health care in Ontario by prioritizing fall prevention among older adults and emphasizing integrated approaches.
In June 2021, the Collaborative formalized its vision, purpose, priorities and structure as follows:
Vision: Adults and older adults in Ontario live independent and healthy lives through a coordinated, integrated and systems approach to preventing falls regardless of where they live.
Purpose: To convene broad expertise to identify and co-design strategies, processes and indicators to influence policy, practice, implementation and evaluation of fall prevention interventions and services for older adults in Ontario.
- Priorities and OFPC Membership Benefits: Build capacity in the workforce
- sharing resources
- keeping on top of latest developments
- access to expertise
- referral system for seamless service delivery for providers, older adults and their families
- Advance excellence in fall prevention practice
- identifying best practices and implementation supports through OFPC members’ work
- align OFPC members’ work with other key stakeholders for a system wide approach to fall prevention among older adults in Ontario
- co-design strategies, processes and indicators for a comprehensive, cohesive system approach to fall prevention
- Influence policy to prioritize fall prevention among older adults
- raise awareness provincially about fall prevention in older adults
- identify issues and priorities at the provincial level that support the work of all stakeholders
- collectively design solutions to streamline service provision
The Collaborative identifies systemic issues in fall prevention in older adults and synthesizes evidence and experience to identify solutions that can be adopted and adapted across sectors, and regionally and/or locally in Ontario.
The Collaborative has completed two environmental scans of priority issues identified by member organizations. These identify the current state of falls indicators and falls risk screening and assessment tools relevant to fall prevention practice.
Stakeholder input and consultations
The Collaborative completed the second phase of its work by contributing to a prioritized list of falls indicators led by Public Health Ontario as well as a review of clinical practice guidelines for falls risk screening and assessment including recommendations for action in 2022-2023 (see Resources below for the report).
Interviews with key stakeholders in Ontario and other jurisdictions were also conducted to explore current falls risk screening and assessments practices, capacity and gaps. Recommendations will soon follow and will be discussed during consultations with Ontario stakeholders in the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023. Priorities for action and implementation will be identified to inform next steps with the goal of providing Ontario-wide recommendations for a system based seamless approach to fall prevention.
The Collaborative is well positioned to provide expertise and collective solutions to guide the development of an integrated, co-ordinated and effective approach to fall prevention among older adults in Ontario. The Collaborative has previously informed the Premier’s Council on Ending Hallway Medicine through its position paper, An Integrated Approach to Preventing Fall-Related Injuries among Older Adults in Ontario.
The Collaborative also provided input to the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care to inform the development of fall prevention protocols for older adults living in community dwellings.
Partnerships and co-ordinated and integrated action
The Collaborative is aware that Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) will need fall prevention evidence, guidance, resources and tools for use in their practice. Especially for those OHTs prioritizing older adults, the Collaborative can support OHTs in this important work by helping them to navigate the Collaborative members’ resources and others.
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Ontario Health, Central Region
Ontario Health, West Region
Queensway Carleton Hospital
Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario, Champlain Fall Prevention Strategy
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Rehabilitative Care Alliance
The Ottawa Hospital
The Regional Municipality of York, Public Health Branch
Toronto Public Health