Introduction: Care pathways for elderly hip fracture patients are increasingly implemented but there has been only limited evaluation of their use. Our objective was to investigate the impact of such a care pathway on the use of healthcare resources and on patients' outcomes.
Materials and methods: The prospective survey covered 493 hip fracture patients 65 years of age or older that were treated either before "Usual Care = (UC)" or after "Co-Managed-Care = (CMC)" implementation of the care pathway. Primary outcome was length of stay (LoS). Secondary outcomes were 1-year mortality and change in residential status from prefracture baseline to 1-year after surgery. Data were analysed by descriptive and interferential statistics and adjustment for baseline differences amongst the two patient groups was done.
Results: Patients in the CMC sample had more preexisting comorbidities (CCI 2.5 versus 2.1). Prior to the fracture, a larger proportion amongst them needed help in ADL (49 versus 26%), and they were more likely to reside in a nursing home (36 versus 29%). Prefracture mobility status was equal in both samples. In the CMC sample LoS was significantly shorter (LoS 8.6 versus 11.3 days, p < 0.01) and patients were less likely to experience a complication (59 vs 73%, p < 0.01) while being in the hospital. There was no significant difference in 1-year mortality or in change of residential status.
Conclusions: A care pathway for elderly hip fracture patients allowed decreased LoS without affecting mortality or change of residential status 1 year after fracture compared to prefracture baseline.