Introduction: In emergency care, geriatric requirements and risks are often not taken sufficiently into account. In addition, there are neither evidence-based recommendations nor scientifically developed quality indicators (QI) for geriatric emergency care in German emergency departments. As part of the GeriQ-ED© research project, quality indicators for geriatric emergency medicine in Germany have been developed using the QUALIFY-instruments.
Methods: Using a triangulation methodology, a) clinical experience-based quality aspects were identified and verified, b) research-based quality statements were formulated and assessed for relevance, and c) preliminary quality indicators were operationalized and evaluated in order to recommend a feasible set of final quality indicators.
Results: Initially, 41 quality statements were identified and assessed as relevant. Sixty-seven QI (33 process, 29 structure and 5 outcome indicators) were extrapolated and operationalised. In order to facilitate implementation into daily practice, the following five quality statements were defined as the GeriQ-ED© TOP 5: screening for delirium, taking a full medications history including an assessment of the indications, education of geriatric knowledge and skills to emergency staff, screening for patients with geriatric needs, and identification of patients with risk of falls/ recurrent falls.
Discussion: QIs are regarded as gold standard to measure, benchmark and improve emergency care. GeriQ-ED© QI focused on clinical experience- and research-based recommendations and describe for the first time a standard for geriatric emergency care in Germany. GeriQ-ED© TOP 5 should be implemented as a minimum standard in geriatric emergency care.