Background: The progressive increase in the number of elderly patients with hip fractures and the particular multidisciplinary needs of this population call for the investigation of other models of orthogeriatric care.
Objectives: To describe the nature and assess the feasibility of a comprehensive orthogeriatric unit attending to patients' surgical, medical and rehabilitation needs in a single setting.
Methods: This retrospective chart review describes consecutive older patients with hip fractures admitted directly from the emergency ward to an orthogeriatric ward.
Results: The mean age of the 116 patients evaluated was 82.4 years. Delay to surgery was 3.6 +/- 3.1 days and total length of stay 23.9 +/- 11.0 days. No patient was transferred to other acute medical wards of the hospital and 66.4% were able to return to their previous living place. Rates of major complications and mortality were extremely low.
Conclusion: The present model of a comprehensive orthogeriatric ward is a practical, applicable and feasible service for elderly hip fracture patients and can cover the various needs of these patients. The deployment arrangements needed to establish and operate the ward were minimal and there were only a few management and organizational problems. The cost-effectiveness and other comparative benefits of this type of service have yet to be clarified.