Fall Prevention: Better Outcomes with the FMA

Published in Complex Rehab on September 15, 2022

September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month. According to the CDC, “Each year, millions of older people – those 65 and older – fall.” One way in which falls can be prevented is by providing the highest quality of CRT equipment, services, and care to customers, which in turn gives the customers better outcomes and better quality of life. This can be measured through the efforts of the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA). 

What the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA) Data Says 

U.S. Rehab continues to collaborate with the University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology to collect data and measure the performance of interventions through the FMA. As of June 2022, there are over 12,000 datasets in the active registry, and the paper presenting these has been published in the official journal of RESNA. 

Data drawn from the FMA provides evidence that quality equipment—appropriately provided by certified ATPs, PTs, and OTs— increases positive outcomes and higher patient satisfaction in their ability to perform mobility-related activities of daily living (MRADLs).  

This quality assurance project systematically describes the population of people with disabilities who need and use mobility assistive equipment (MAE). It also assesses the outcomes after the provision of properly provided equipment. It looks at many aspects of patient needs and outcomes to give that better class of care for patients. All of this is made possible through the FMA and uniform dataset (UDS). 

By analyzing the 12,000 cases of people with disabilities who use MAE, there is a clear picture of the positive role quality equipment and well-trained professionals play in patients’ lives. Through the analysis, we can tell that due to the proper provision of CRT, there has been: 

  • an increase of 128.31% in patient satisfaction in performing MRADLs   
  • a 64.32% decrease in reported falls 
  • a 71.3% reduction in readmissions due to a seating and mobility incident  
  • a 57.38% reduction in skin breakdown 

Recently, the Assistive Technology Journal gave final peer-review acceptance of a seat elevator study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology. The large FMA/UDS data registry showed strong evidence of the benefit of seat elevators on power wheelchairs, including the reduced falls and hospital stays as a result. Click here to view the abstract and summary

Improving Repair Standards 

The DMERT Group, a non-profit certification body tasked with setting the benchmarking for DME and CRT repair training standards, provides certifications to qualified technicians that have gone through the proper training to repair complex equipment, such as CRT. With the DMERT Group being accepted and their certification being used in the industry, there is correlative FMA data that shows better patient satisfaction and high-quality repair performance. The data collected validates the performance of quality repair technicians in the industry, which make a difference in the patients' well-being. This data further allows us to understand patient needs and performance to drive outcomes and satisfaction. 

Participate in the FMA 

Quality performance gives patients a better standard of life and outcome, including less falls. Data is needed to publish peer-reviewed research to help establish guidelines to move forward with better patient care that, in turn, gives the patient better outcomes. The more data we have from the FMA, the better we can determine clinical recommendations for patients, provide evidence of how the performance of the CRT equipment matters, and how quality equipment and care means better patient outcomes.  

Learn more about getting started with the FMA here.  


  1. complex rehab
  2. data
  3. dmert group
  4. outcomes

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