3. Train Champions

Audits provide a critical source of data that allows the units to receive regular and consistent feedback about the unit’s success in implementing Fall TIPS and the level of patient engagement. As the Fall TIPS Implementation leader, you will train the Fall TIPS champions to conduct patient audits. Alternatively, you can train the Nurse Director, who can then train the champions.

Audits provide the units with regular and consistent feedback about their success in implementing Fall TIPS.

Role of the Champion

Unit based champions are typically nurses on the units who are available as Fall TIPS resources. Champions are responsible for:

  • Leading the fall prevention practice change on the unit
  • Modeling best practices for fall prevention
  • Monitoring implementation progress, by collecting and sharing audit data with unit
  • Providing support and education to staff
  • Checking in with Nurse Manager/Director about progress, barriers to success, etc.

Patient engagement may be a change in the culture of patient care at your hospital. If this is the case, champions should make sure clinical staff are aware of this change and its benefits. Our research has shown that patient engagement is key to Fall TIPS efficacy.

What does patient engagement look like?

Clinical staff should engage patients in all steps of the 3-Step Fall Prevention Process

We understand that engaging patients is a change in the culture of patient safety. To help your clinical staff integrate routinely engaging patients in their practice, we have developed exercises to practice with.

Review the Audit Process with Champions

The Fall TIPS team has developed a set of audit instructions as a tool to guide champions’ audit training. Please see and download:

Fall TIPS Audit Instructions
A guide on how to conduct the Fall TIPS Audit.

Fall TIPS Audit Reliability Guide
A guide to ensure that all auditors complete the audits consistently.

Conduct a Live Audit with a Patient While the Champion Observes

After reviewing the audit instructions with the champions, conduct one or two example audits with patients, while the champion observes. Afterward, discuss the experience with the champion, soliciting their questions and observations.

Observe the Champion Conducting a Live Audit with a Patient

Once the champion has observed a couple of patient audits, have them conduct an audit or two, until they feel comfortable. Afterward, provide constructive feedback, noting what went well in the conversation, and what to work on next time. The peer feedback piece is as important as the audit itself. Here is a link to some Peer Feedback Exercises to help you become comfortable in delivering this kind of feedback.

Peer-to-peer feedback is critically important to successful Fall TIPS implementation. As monthly feedback comes in, champions can see areas of success and needed improvement. By following up with nurses, champions can address any knowledge gaps or other barriers to Fall TIPS completion and engage nursing staff in brainstorming workarounds or solutions.

Some examples of challenges or barriers that may come up from the audits include:

  • Laminated posters hanging too high for nurses/unit coordinators to reach to erase
  • Posters are falling off the wall
  • Nurses forgetting or not taking time to fill them out
  • Not enough dry erase markers on the unit
  • Fall TIPS poster has incorrect patient name and date

Next step: Plan Implementation