Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Communication Regarding Falls Risk – When and What

The expert panel outlines the following examples of times where health-care providers may need to be more vigilant:

  • transfer to, or discharge from, an emergency department, especially if the visit to the emergency department was related to a fall or a condition associated with an increased falls risk;
  • transfer from one unit to another;
  • transfer from one health-care setting to another;
  • transfer from one health-care provider and another;
  • transit to or from diagnostic tests (e.g., radiology, ultrasound); and
  • discharge home or to a long-term-care setting.

To reduce the risk of falls, it is recommended that health-care providers ensure that pertinent information is promptly shared with the next responsible health-care provider or the interprofessional team. This should include, at minimum, the following:

  • the person’s risk factors/health conditions;
  • the person’s history of falls;
  • situational or environmental factors that may temporarily increase falls risk (e.g., eyeglasses not currently available, recent administration of sedating medication, catheter tubing);
  • plans of care to reduce risk; and
  • the person’s preferences with regard to interventions.

In some circumstances (e.g., when a person is in transit for diagnostic tests), the information will need to be abbreviated.

Older Adults
Preventing Falls and Reducing Injury from Falls
Point of Care Resources