Aim: A new model of care for the management of patients with delirium was developed and evaluated.
Method: A four-bedded Close Observation Unit (COU) was introduced. The model comprised education for assistants in nursing (AINs), environmental adaptations and AIN-to-patient ratio of 1:4. Outcomes in all patients with delirium before and after introduction of the new model of care were compared.
Results: One hundred and five patients were admitted to COU, of whom 100 (95%) were diagnosed with delirium. In-hospital mortality improved after introduction of the unit (15% vs 5%; P = 0.002) without significant change in length of stay, discharge destination or falls frequency.
Conclusion: A dedicated unit for delirium management within medicine achieved a reduction in mortality.
© 2013 The Authors. Australasian Journal on Ageing © 2013 ACOTA.