Variability among Geriatric Care Processes Associated with Poor Postdischarge Outcomes

July 4, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Better comprehensiveness of care was associated with lowered short-term mortality among elderly patients who were hospitalized after sustaining injuries from a fall, according to the results of a study published in the June 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. The study, which retrospectively evaluated the records of 934 patients age 65 or older who were admitted to 49 geriatric assessment units in Canada, assessed three care processes (comprehensiveness, informational continuity, and patient-centered care) and the effects of each on three-month postdischarge outcomes (emergency department visit, hospital readmission, and death). A large variability was observed among the geriatric assessment units for the three care processes. The researchers assessed comprehensiveness by identifying the percentage of relevant clinical items found in the hospital record and quantifying a comprehensiveness score for each of seven health professions. They assessed informational continuity using a 26-item tool for evaluating discharge summaries.

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