A program piloted by UHS and Broome County to reduce falls among the elderly has gone nationwide. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries” (STEADI) was launched in the Southern Tier in 2012 by UHS Primary Care, the Broome County Health Department and the Broome County Office for Aging, under the direction of Frank Floyd, MD, internist at UHS Primary Care Endwell.
“Our work will be used by the CDC to set the national standard for how to roll out STEADI and reduce injuries in people over 65,” says Dr. Floyd.
The state Health Department and the CDC selected Broome County for the STEADI pilot based on the aging demographics of the region. UHS became the alpha test site because of its fully-established electronic medical record system, which facilitated data collection and reporting.
The program encourages primary care providers to conduct regular screenings for patients age 65 and older to determine their risk of falling. Patients at risk for falling are educated in steps to reduce their risk.
According to the CDC, one out of three people age 65 and over will fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional-injury death and account for 69 percent of nonfatal injuries in the elderly.