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Jacqueline Francis-Coad with members of the community of practice. Photo: University of Notre Dame Australia

Safety net: staff web together new approach to falls prevention

Nurses and allied health staff across 13 aged care sites have turned to an online network to help reduce the incidence of falls.

Twenty aged care staff with an interest in falls prevention took part in a web-based Community of Practice (CoP), as part of a trial of the intervention.

Lead researcher Jacqueline Francis-Coad, from the University of Notre Dame Australia, said in the current aged care climate, there isn’t much spare money to put into new resources, so staff and providers have to try to find ways to tackle problems as best they can.

Francis-Coad said web-based community of practices allow staff to share ideas without having to meet frequently face to face and added that setting one up would allow all staff members to join forces to tackle falls prevention.

While all participants using the CoP portal were able to communicate and reflect on information and ideas, the researchers found frequency of engagement was low.

Some of the reasons staff gave for their infrequent use included competing demands from other tasks and low levels of knowledge about information communication technology (ICT) applications.

Aged Care Insite spoke with Francis-Coad to find out what else staff had to say about the CoP, how it affected their approach to falls prevention and what it would take for a provider to successfully set up such an initiative.

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