Frailty and In-Hospital Mortality Risk Using EHR Nursing Data

Biol Res Nurs. 2022 Apr;24(2):186-201. doi: 10.1177/10998004211060541. Epub 2021 Dec 30.


PurposeThe purpose of this study was to evaluate four definitions of a Frailty Risk Score (FRS) derived from EHR data that includes combinations of biopsychosocial risk factors using nursing flowsheet data or International Classification of Disease, 10th revision (ICD-10) codes and blood biomarkers and its predictive properties for in-hospital mortality in adults ≥50 years admitted to medical-surgical units. Methods In this retrospective observational study and secondary analysis of an EHR dataset, survival analysis and Cox regression models were performed with sociodemographic and clinical covariates. Integrated area under the ROC curve (iAUC) across follow-up time based on Cox modeling was estimated. Results The 46,645 patients averaged 1.5 hospitalizations (SD = 1.1) over the study period and 63.3% were emergent admissions. The average age was 70.4 years (SD = 11.4), 55.3% were female, 73.0% were non-Hispanic White (73.0%), mean comorbidity score was 3.9 (SD = 2.9), 80.5% were taking 1.5 high risk medications, and 42% recorded polypharmacy. The best performing FRS-NF-26-LABS included nursing flowsheet data and blood biomarkers (Adj. HR = 1.30, 95% CI [1.28, 1.33]), with good accuracy (iAUC = .794); the reduced model with age, sex, and FRS only demonstrated similar accuracy. The poorest performance was the ICD-10 code-based FRS. Conclusion The FRS captures information about the patient that increases risk for in-hospital mortality not accounted for by other factors. Identification of frailty enables providers to enhance various aspects of care, including increased monitoring, applying more intensive, individualized resources, and initiating more informed discussions about treatments and discharge planning.

Keywords: biomarkers; electronic health records; frailty; geriatric syndromes; in-hospital mortality; risk factors; risk prediction.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly
  • Frailty*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors