Program Reduces ER Visits for Senior Falls

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An innovative program in Minnesota is reducing ER visits for seniors who suffer falls. Each year, half of all residents in nursing homes and other senior care facilities experience a fall. Many times the falls lead to broken wrists or hips. HealthPartners, however, is demonstrating that a fall doesn’t have to mean an immediate trip to the emergency room or a stay in a hospital.

HealthPartners Geriatric Fracture Program is improving care and helping patients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions by bringing care directly to the patient. That means patients avoid the ER – a setting that can be disruptive and frightening – and it also reduces potentially unnecessary risks and costs.

Here’s how the program works: HealthPartners Geriatric Fracture Program serves more than 100 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area. When staff at the care facility suspect a patient has a fracture, they alert the patient’s primary care provider. Instead of having the patient transported to a hospital, the physician can have a mobile x-ray technician go to the nursing home or assisted living facility to take digital images.

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