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Fragility and Stability

The Fragility and Stability Program is comprised of clinicians, researchers, and patients dedicated to improving bone health and care for people with fragility fractures, including hip fractures.

Their work encompasses the full continuum of care from bone health promotion and prevention of secondary fracture to hospital care for fragility fractures and ongoing care following a hip fracture.

Bone Health Promotion & Fracture Prevention

Work in this area is focused on creating better ways to improve bone health by identifying and treating osteoporosis early.

The Catch a Break prevention program has been successfully launched through Alberta Health Services – Health Link to help Albertans identify osteoporosis early.

Catch a Break identifies Albertans who have suffered a low-trauma fragility fracture and encourages them to talk to their doctors about bone health. The goal of the program is to help Albertans prevent future bone fractures that may be related to osteoporosis.

Acute Surgical Pathway (Day 0-7)

The main objective of this pathway is to improve care for hip fracture patients by decreasing their wait times for surgery and improving their experience throughout their acute care journey.

  • An evidenced-based, patent centered pathway has been developed and implemented across Alberta to improve care outcomes, reduce length of stay, decrease readmission rates, and ultimately decrease mortality.
  • Educational resources for both patients/families and providers have been developed to support the pathway implementation.
  • Key performance improvement targets for the acute surgical pathway include:
    • Target time from fracture to OR ≤ 36 hours
    • Early mobilization on post-operative day 1
    • 75% of patients returning to their previous living environment

Restorative Care Pathway (Day 8-28)

This pathway expands care for hip fracture patients beyond the walls of the hospital and creates a smoother transition for patients by identifying the appropriate care at the right time and in the most efficient manner.

The goal of the pathway is to support patients’ and families’ needs for the transition of care and contribute to better patient care, increased patient and family satisfaction, and reduced caregiver burnout.

Fracture Liaison Service (FLS)

This service aims to reduce the risk of future fractures by optimizing management of bone health/osteoporosis as well as fall prevention strategies, both in acute care and in the community for one year post-fracture.

Fracture Liaison Services have been implemented at a number of sites in Alberta. Each program is comprised of dedicated clinicians who use the following model as outlined by Osteoporosis Canada:

  • Identification: All men and women ≥ 50 years of age who present with a hip fracture will be identified in the inpatient setting.
  • Investigation: As per 2010 Osteoporosis Canada Guidelines, those at risk will undergo appropriate investigations.
  • Initiation: Where appropriate, osteoporosis treatment will be initiated by the FLS to assist in preventing future fractures and improving health outcomes. The FLS team works with patients, families and care providers to create personalized care plans to address a person’s ongoing bone health management. This includes linking individuals to appropriate resources (e.g., fall management).