The article written by Merrett, Thomas, Stephens, Moghabghab and Grunier (2011) entitled “A collaborative approach to fall prevention” addresses the significance of fall prevention in promoting greater quality of care for older persons. To be specific, the abstract summarizes the Geriatric Emergency Management-Falls Intervention Team (GEM-FIT), a program operated by nurses to reduce the number of falls in the geriatric population by using collaborative means (Merrett et.al, 2011). The authors possess significant experience in the nursing profession and are well-qualified to provide knowledge and insight regarding this area of interest. The problem statement is relevant and considers the ever-increasing importance of collaborative teams in solving real-world clinical and nursing problems (Merrett et.al, 2011). The purpose of the GEM-FIT project is also defined in the article to determine its effectiveness in the applicable work environment (Merrett et.al, 2011).
The article does not possess a specific literature review section; rather, references are spread throughout the article to support the discussion and the research method that was utilized. In spite of the lack of a defined literature review, the article nonetheless conveys the importance of a conceptual framework that emphasizes collaboration in team-based environments in order to promote active discussion regarding the project (Merrett et.al, 2011). In this context, the article considers the importance of the concept behind GEM-FIT, which was known as the Falls Intervention (FIT) Study (Merrett et.al, 2011). In this manner, the article demonstrates the importance of determining whether or not a multi-disciplinary collaborative effort would be successful in supporting the needs of patients in the chosen emergency department setting (Merrett et.al, 2011). This also served as the primary hypothesis for the article and served as the authors’ primary focus.
The primary research design of the study demonstrated collaborative efforts through various team meetings on a monthly basis to develop strategic objectives (Merrett et.al, 2011). In addition, the authors sought to convey the importance of the Triage Risk Screening Tool, which was used to screen potential study participants and to determine their level of eligibility (Merrett et.al, 2011). In this capacity, the authors properly obtained informed consent for all eligible participants (Merrett et.al, 2011). The study design also included routine visits to study participants at their homes by nurses and occupational therapists, with several scales utilized to conduct proper assessments for these patients in the chosen environment (Merrett et.al, 2011). Data was collected by the collaborative group to determine the level of risk of falls for these patients in the home environment (Merrett et.al, 2011).
From a team-based perspective, it was imperative to consider the role of all staff in supporting the objectives of the project at all stages (Merrett et.al, 2011). This included the protection of all human subject participants to reduce any unnecessary risks, along with the creation of an environment that was supportive of maintaining proper protocols at all phases of the study (Merrett et.al, 2011). These efforts were important because they provided a greater likelihood of effective data for consideration and analysis within the scope of the project (Merrett et.al, 2011). It was also important to demonstrate the impact of specific data and information resources in order to accomplish the desired objectives in a manner that was consistent with the original study design (Merrett et.al, 2011). The study was effective in this stage because it permitted the full evaluation and assessment of each study participant in the desired manner to promote effective outcomes for this patient population that could be applied to other populations in future settings (Merrett et.al, 2011).
The collected data was analyzed in order to determine the number of falls that were reported at several different times, including pre and post-intervention (Merrett et.al, 2011). In addition, the article addresses ongoing monitoring and adjustments as required to ensure that patients were evaluated properly at all times (Merrett et.al, 2011). It was imperative for the team to achieve the objectives of the project for all participants to obtain comprehensive and relevant data (Merrett et.al, 2011). The study results were indicative of an environment whereby the number of falls were reduced, along with improvements in short and long-term outcomes (Merrett et.al, 2011). In addition, study participants showed demonstrated improvement in a number of areas that included gait and self-confidence (Merrett et.al, 2011).
The team itself also benefited from the study because they were able to openly communicate and share ideas regarding the study and its objectives in an organized and detailed manner (Merrett et.al, 2011). In addition, the chosen study protocol was relatively effective in supporting the needs and objectives of the study and its participants (Merrett et.al, 2011). The collaborative effort in question also provided numerous benefits to study participants in the form of improved outcomes and fewer reported falls (Merrett et.al, 2011). Therefore, it was determined that the ability of the team to collaborate in this manner was largely effective in supporting the study objectives (Merrett et.al, 2011). The study determined that coordination of care is essential to the success of a given framework and supports additional studies in this area (Merrett et.al, 2011). The study recommendations indicate that this approach is most effective using letters of agreement in order to capture the relevant points and to demonstrate the value of this collaborative effort for geriatric patients (Merrett et.al, 2011). In addition, communication is critical to the success of these endeavors over the long term (Merrett et.al, 2011).
Merrett, A., Thomas, P., Stephens, A., Moghabghab, R., and Grunier, M. (2011). A collaborative approach to fall prevention. Canadian-Nurse.com, 107(8), 24-29.