Posted in EHRs

EHR data can help identify patients most at risk for falls

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
EHR data can help identify patients most at risk for falls

Data found in electronic health records (EHRs) – including the age, sex and specific diagnoses of patients – could make it easier for healthcare providers to determine which patients are at risk of falling, a new study shows.

The study, “An Electronic Health Record Data-driven Model for Identifying Older Adults at Risk of Unintentional Falls,” analyzed de-identified EHR data to assess  potential correlation between falls and demographic characteristics, health profile, services received, medications used, and other information. Among the conclusions:

  • Patients age 85 years and older have 2.58 times higher odds of having documented falls than patients age 65 to 84 years
  • Female patients have 1.67 times higher odds of having documented falls than male patients
  • Patients with documented dementia have 2.91 times higher odds of having documented falls than other patients
  • Patients with documented rheumatoid arthritis have 2.71 times higher odds of having documented falls than other patients
  • Patients with documented epilepsy have 2.73 times higher odds of having documented falls than other patients
  • Patients with documentation of muscle weakness have 2.50 times higher odds of having documented falls than other patients
  • Patients who received a fall risk assessment have 258.24 times higher odds of having documented falls than patients who haven’t had a documented risk assessment

“Applying EHR data as clinical decision support in fall risk identification may serve as a means of efficient, systematic screening and support efforts to identify older adults at risk of falls,” writes the research team from West Virginia University in Morgantown.