Context One in three Australians aged over 65 experience a fall each year.1 Of these, one third will not return to live at home. Identifying and addressing home hazards can reduce fall risk.2
Sustainable Development Goal 3: Health and wellbeing
The well validated and researched Home Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HomeFAST) is designed to identify fall risk in home environments for older people. Its reach was limited by its availability only in paper-based form.
Process In 2019 the HomeFAST was digitalised as a decision tool using conditional logic and hosted on a dedicated website (available in English and Simplified Chinese languages). Upon completion the individualised risk assessment and notes can be saved or downloaded (PDF).
Analysis The digital screener has been completed over 450 times since launch. Of 256 self-report completions, 31% (79) users scored 9 or less, identifying them as high risk. Of 192 health professional completions, 41% (78) assessments scored the client as high risk. 34 health professionals completions included detailed individualised comments. Commonly identified risks include loose mats, slippery surfaces, stairs and cluttered walkways. Feedback from health professionals and older people has further improved usability. The tool has been successfully used in undergraduate teaching.
Outcomes By translating a validated screening tool into user-friendly digital format, access has been significantly widened, including to less advantaged groups and to both health professionals and consumers in developing countries.
AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database. Australia 2019
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Clinical Guideline CG161 2013