Geriatric Fall Prevention: Interdisciplinary Approach

Interview Summary

For this interview, my nurse colleague working for the Geriatric Care clinic was selected to clarify the challenges faced by this organization. The role of the chosen interview lies in managing routine care for older adult patients, including their nutrition, hygiene, medication intake, and other services. As stated by the colleague, the organization lacks care continuity: when doctors prescribe treatment, many nurses fail to provide feedback. Also, poor communication between care providers and patients leads to misunderstanding and low patient satisfaction. For example, patient falls compose one of the most critical health issues in geriatric patients. The inability to properly prevent and minimize falls leads to many broken hips and other associated comorbidities. Previously, the organization attempted to improve the situation by sharing the booklets clarifying the expected behavior and speaking about it during one group meeting. However, these actions did not change the organizational culture – the behaviors and values remained. No other interdisciplinary team experience was initiated by the clinic’s leadership. To ensure that sufficient information is obtained, a list of questions was prepared in advance and adjusted in the course of the conversation.

Issue Identification

Fall prevention in older adult patients is of national importance, and an interdisciplinary approach is regarded as a promising intervention due to its realistic and systematic strategy (Bergen, Stevens, & Burns, 2016). Another benefit of the suggested intervention is the coordinated actions of various health professionals, including general care practitioners, nurses, gerontologists, physiotherapists, and so on. In addition, the formation and management of the interdisciplinary team are likely to improve the existing measurement methods by making them more accurate and comprehensive.

Change Theories That Could Lead to an Interdisciplinary Solution

A theory of change is a long-term description of the ways to achieve the desired outcome, which is also to be accompanied by the identification of the necessary preconditions. Such a theory focuses on the process of change, milestones, and the links between them in a particular context. For the given health problem, it seems to be appropriate to apply the combination of Lewin’s change model and the lean systems approach. According to Wojciechowski, Pearsall, Murphy, and French (2016), multiple disciplines need to be integrated to provide high-quality care. The opportunities for planning and introducing an interdisciplinary team based on the mentioned theories are proposed by the above authors as a relevant and feasible solution.

Lewin’s change model includes three stages, such as unfreezing, changing /moving, and refreezing. The first stage implies that the staff should understand the problem and consider the existing patterns. During the change, this model helps to demonstrate the benefits of a new system and reduce the opposing factors. Ultimately, refreezing promotes the stabilization of change and making new patterns a habit (Wojciechowski et al., 2016). As for the lean model, it focuses on supporting people and improves the flow of processes in the organization. In other words, this model implies continuous enhancement and a new way of thinking about the challenges.

The combination of these models is pertinent to the health issue of falls in elderly patients since the former is likely to ensure a full range of services that are needed for these patients. While Lewin’s model is related to change procedures, the lean system allows for integrating communication-related changes. In the given case, it is especially important to establish proper interaction between patients and staff as well as across disciplines. The source cited for the suggested intervention is credible since it is published in a peer-reviewed journal and uses crosswalk methodology for verifying the hypothesis.

Leadership Strategies That Could Lead to an Interdisciplinary Solution

Considering that the change required for preventing falls in the clinic is largely associated with the contribution of various people, servant leadership seems to be the best option. A servant leader should act as a compassionate collaborator and skilled communicator, putting his or her colleagues first (Tropello & DeFazio, 2014). It can help to create an interdisciplinary team by serving not only patients but also team members, which would create an open and respectful atmosphere. The relationships between professionals would be strengthened, and it would lead to more coordinated care. For example, novice nurses can be mentored, while more qualified nurse can share their perspectives and values that assist them to remain competitive in their field. Servant leadership is relevant to preventing falls in the elderly as it implies close attention to the team members, building a community, and developing empathy (Tropello & DeFazio, 2014). The source used for this section is reliable since information is taken from the Nursing 2020 Journal, focusing on clinical excellence.

Collaboration Approaches for Interdisciplinary Teams

Since the target organization lacks an interdisciplinary approach to care provision, it is necessary to establish it. Sims, Hewitt, and Harris (2015) recommend the synthesis of individual learning, role blurring, pooling of resources, and coordination. Taken together, these mechanisms present the functioning of interprofessional teams. This approach also suggests promoting teamwork via participation in joint assessment and creativity development, which is relevant for the identified health problem. The cited source is credible due to its realistic presentation of the approach components and publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

References

Bergen, G., Stevens, M. R., & Burns, E. R. (2016). Falls and fall injuries among adults aged≥ 65 years—United States, 2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(37), 993-998.

Sims, S., Hewitt, G., & Harris, R. (2015). Evidence of collaboration, pooling of resources, learning and role blurring in interprofessional healthcare teams: A realist synthesis. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 29(1), 20-25.

Tropello, P. D., & DeFazio, J. (2014). Servant leadership in nursing administration and academia shaping future generations of nurses and interdisciplinary team providers to transform healthcare delivery. Nurse Leader, 12(6), 59-66.

Wojciechowski, E., Pearsall, T., Murphy, P., & French, E. (2016). A case review: Integrating Lewin’s theory with lean’s system approach for change. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(2). Web.