Development of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program of care for frailty in an emergency department

Mireia Puig Campmany, Josep Ris Romeu, Marta Blázquez Andión, Salvador Benito Vales

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018, European Geriatric Medicine Society. Purpose: Frailty and multi-morbidity have been associated with increased pressure on Emergency Departments (ED), higher hospital admissions and more risks for patients arising from the ED stay. The advantages of developing specific attention to frailty in ED have been highlighted. The benefits of these approaches are related to patients but also to organizations. The aim is to present how a Program of Care for Frailty (PCF) in an ED impacts on patient flows. Methods: Setting: A tertiary, teaching, 550-bed urban hospital, with 80,000 adult patients/year ED attendances (43% ≥ 65 years). The three main axes of the program are (1) an ED geriatrization, implementing multidisciplinary comprehensive geriatric assessment performed by ED professionals (physician, nurses, social worker, pharmacist); (2) an elder-friendly area (EFA) inside the ED was built; (3) The ED integration in a collaborative network with others healthcare providers in the territory for a shared urgent care. Results: Between 2011 and 2017, we observe a progressive increase in ED activity (+ 8.1%), in patient’s age (40.9% vs 42.8% ≥ 65 years), and an increase in ambulance arrivals (+ 25.1%). The admission rate was rising until 2014 (10.8–12%). In 2014, the ED geriatrization began and networking was reinforced, and a decrease in the rate of admission (11.3%) is observed. Conclusions: Despite a progressive increase in ED activity and older people, we have observed a decrease in hospital admissions in parallel with the Program of Care for Frailty development. Systematic application of similar programs in distinct EDs would have an impact on the overall health system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-46
    JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


    • Delirium
    • Emergency department
    • Frailty
    • Geriatric assessment
    • Older people


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