AHRQ's Patient Safety Indicators Help Canadian Institute Track Falls in Elderly

November 2005

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is using a measure to track in-hospital falls among seniors that was adapted from AHRQ's Patient Safety Indicators. CIHI tailored AHRQ's in-hospital hip fracture indicator for use with the Canadian health care system and its data.

After CIHI researchers Indra Pulcins, PhD, Manager of Health Indicators, Eugene Wen, DrPH, Senior Methodologist for Health Indicators, and their team discovered that nearly one in 1,000 seniors fractures a hip during a hospital stay, they adapted the AHRQ indicator to track this occurrence.

In their analysis of in-hospital hip fractures, Pulcins and Wen found that in all age groups, females were more likely to break a hip than males, and the incidence of fractures increased with age. Furthermore, surgical patients were almost seven times more likely to break a hip during a hospital stay than medical patients. Other high-risk groups included patients older than 85 and those with musculoskeletal or connective tissue disorders, stroke, or other serious conditions.

"For the first time, these indicator data allow health regions and provinces to compare their in-hospital hip fracture rates with other jurisdictions in Canada," Pulcins and Wen say in a Healthcare Quarterly (Vol. 7, No. 4) article. "The in-hospital hip fracture rate can be used to identify opportunities for improving patient safety."

The CIHI is an independent, pan-Canadian, not-for-profit organization working to provide quality, reliable, and timely health information. Priorities for CIHI include the provision of information that can be used for establishing sound health policy, effectively managing the Canadian health system, and generating public awareness about factors affecting good health.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): HCUP-Patient Safety Indicators, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)
Topics(s): Patient Safety, Quality
Geographic Location: Canada
Implementer: Canadian Institute for Health Information
Date: 11/01/2005
Page last reviewed October 2014