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Latest innovation from decade of Cerner fall prevention work designed to improve access, affordability of fall risk assessments

Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, today announced the creation of an EHR-agnostic tool that improves the accuracy of fall risk detection by 60 percent, compared to traditional fall assessment methods.

When used with a fall risk algorithm developed over the past 10 years by Cerner, a Cerner study has shown the tool can help clinicians identify fall-risk patients with a 90 percent accuracy rate in 10 minutes. By comparison, studies show traditional questionnaire-type assessments identify only 30 percent of patients who later experience a fall.

At a fraction of the cost of standard kinesiology assessments, which are most readily available at academic medical centers, and about the size of a pack of gum, the tool is relatively inexpensive at around $100, inconspicuous, reusable and designed to be used in clinics of all sizes, including smaller critical access and community hospitals. Cerner will expand initial availability of the tool this year.

Patients belt the tool around their waist and walk independently or with assistance around a clinic, doctor’s office or hospital hallway for 10 minutes. Time series analysis and mathematical models calculate the patient’s movement, speed and activity. The tool is compatible with existing nursing workflows and processes, and caregivers receive a personalized assessment of the patient when data from the tool is uploaded into a computer.

“We are steadfastly committed to creating the innovations that will help providers deliver the best care, every time, for every person at the lowest attainable cost,” said Doug McNair, president, Cerner Math. “Developing an improved solution to prevent fall-related injuries is a win-win for patients and providers.”

Additional Cerner tools are in place to help identify and monitor at-risk patients and provide a comprehensive view of an individual’s fall risk.

Using smart room technology, another EHR-agnostic tool – Cerner Patient Observer™ (CPO) – features instant visual and audio alert monitoring for multiple patient rooms at once. The technology provides 3-D motion sensors, two-way communication between the patient and caregiver, and enhanced monitoring and alert screens for nurses to have instant notification of a potential risk, all from a central monitoring station. With typical CPO deployments, client results show a reduction in cost per sitter hour of 60 to 70 percent.

Cerner’s Millennium® electronic health record is also integrated with an automated clinical decision support system for patient fall prevention. Multiple risk factors are evaluated by the solution as a byproduct of documentation of clinical assessments, problems and diagnoses, medications and a fall risk score. Once an at-risk patient is identified, an automated plan is produced and the caregiver is provided with specific intervention tools to review and discuss with the patient.

“In addition to traditional fall risk protocols, these are complimentary solutions to support keeping patients safe and reducing risk of falls,” said Eva Karp, senior vice president and chief clinical officer, Cerner. “We are committed to continued innovation that increases safety and reduces risk to patients, while decreasing cost and improving the clinicians’ experience and the outcomes for the patients they care for.”

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