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Authors

  1. Shelby, Melissa MSN, ACNP-BC, RN-BSN
  2. Malloch, Kathy PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN
  3. Shellenberger, Thomas MD, FACS
  4. Byrum, Stephanie MD, MPH, FACS
  5. Mackie, Leah MSLP, CCC
  6. Dilli, Suzanne MS, PT, NCS, CLT
  7. Dean Martin, Amanda DNP, CENP, ACNP-BC

Abstract

Traditional quality assurance processes provide significant opportunities for positive disruption. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students are well positioned to apply program learning to large-scale change in complex organizations. This article presents an innovative approach for creating a point-of-care interdisciplinary approach to address high fall risk frequencies in ambulatory oncology clinics using complexity leadership principles. Processes for nurse executives to consider for replication of this approach for other challenging clinical situations are suggested using the emerging competence of DNP educated nurses. Adults with cancer who are older than 65 years are at a higher risk for falls than older adults without cancer. Oncology providers and nurses are not routinely screening, documenting, and preventing falls. A fall injury in an older adult with cancer may not only delay or impact cancer treatment but also result in hospitalization, loss of function, and/or death. Increasing awareness of the impact of falls and implementing change within a large ambulatory health care organization requires an interdisciplinary team approach. Complexity theory supports nonlinear change initiated at the grassroots level to create a dynamic movement to bring forth emergence and adaptation. The use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) initiative will enable oncology professionals to screen, assess, and intervene by collaborating, communicating, and coordinating with other health care specialists to introduce a fall prevention quality improvement system process. Nurse executives need to know about STEADI.