Background and purpose: The Sheba model of orthogerioatric medicine is a unique model of in-hospital care for elderly hip fractured patients, based upon the concept that a hip fracture represents a geriatric, rather than an orthopedic disease. The nature and feasibility of such a comprehensive orthogeriatric unit, taking care of all surgical, medical and rehabilitation needs, in a single geriatric-based setting (rather than orthopedic-based), were questioned. The aim of the study is to describe the results of its operation during a five-year period.
Method: A retrospective charts analysis of consecutive older patients with hip fractures, admitted from the emergency unit directly to the orthogeriatric unit of a department of geriatric medicine.
Results: A total number of 592 patients were admitted. Mean age of patients was 83.2 years, mostly women. A total of 538 (91%) were treated surgically. Delay to surgery was 3.6 +/- 2.9 days. A total of 65.6% were suitable for rehabilitation, and had a mean Functional Independence Measure (FIM) gain of 22.3 +/- 7.9. Mean total hospital length of stay was 29.9 days and 68.7% of patients returned to their previous living residence. Rates of major complications (4.1%) and in-hospital mortality (3.2%, equivalent to 30 days mortality) were low.
Conclusions: Treatment within this unit was associated with low rates of major morbidity and mortality, short stay and acceptable functional outcomes. The data provide clinical evidence supporting the implementation of this model of comprehensive orthogeriatric care, being a practical, applicable and feasible service for elderly hip fractured patients, and covering the various needs of these patients. The present model of organization could also help in skillful use of economic resources, facilitating effective treatment strategies.