Geriatric co-management of proximal femur fractures: total quality management and protocol-driven care result in better outcomes for a frail patient population

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Jul;56(7):1349-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01770.x. Epub 2008 May 22.

Abstract

Hip fractures in older adults are a common event, leading to substantial morbidity and mortality. Hip fractures have been previously described as a "geriatric, rather than orthopedic disease." Patients with this condition have a high prevalence of comorbidity and a high risk of complications from surgery, and for this reason, geriatricians may be well suited to improve outcomes of care. Co-management of hip fracture patients by orthopedic surgeons and geriatricians has led to better outcomes in other countries but has rarely been described in the United States. This article describes a co-managed Geriatric Fracture Center program that has resulted in lower-than-predicted length of stay and readmission rates, with short time to surgery, low complication rates, and low mortality. This program is based on the principles of early evaluation of patients, ongoing co-management, protocol-driven geriatric-focused care, and early discharge planning. This is a potentially replicable model of care that uses the expertise of geriatricians to optimize the management of a common and serious condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly
  • Health Services for the Aged / organization & administration*
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data
  • Hip Fractures / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration
  • Treatment Outcome