In the month of March 2018, Coronado Healthcare and its residents and staff experienced a great loss. Coronado is located on a busy, four lane street in NW Phoenix. Numerous accidents have occurred in this area. On March 19, 2018, one of our LTC residents was struck by a car and killed while crossing the street in the crosswalk in his electric wheelchair. He was crossing legally in a crosswalk that contained a median and flashing lights.

As a result, our IDT team met and decided that we needed a plan to help ensure that all our residents, who were allowed on passes to leave the building, whether by electric or manual wheelchair, walker, cane or without a device, were as safe as possible.


We had been performing assessments of residents with electric wheelchairs inside the facility, but now saw the need to perform safety assessments outside the building. It was agreed that all residents with physician-ordered passes would receive outdoor safety evaluations by the therapy department.

The appropriate residents were identified, authorizations from LTC payers requested, and evaluations performed. The assessment included the Power-Mobility Community Driving Assessment and safety information from the AAA Exchange.


All residents who participated reported they felt they were safer with mobility outside the facility, after the assessments and instruction. All of the results of the assessments were care-planned. This will greatly help with the new resident–response survey process to ensure we are providing for resident satisfaction. As a result of our focus on resident safety, the Resident Council chose our Safety Evaluator, Paul Ward PT, as a 5-Star Employee of the Month.


The first outside safety assessment was performed on March 21, 2018, with a total of 14 assessments completed


  • 12 residents passed the assessment
  • One resident decided he did not choose to go outside
  • One resident was judged to require a responsible adult to accompany them outside


View poster: Wheelchair Safety and Mobility (PDF format)

By MaryJo Walker, SLP/DOR, Coronado Healthcare Center, Phoenix, AZ