Identification and Team-Based Interprofessional Management of Hospitalized Vulnerable Older Adults

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Submitted by National Center... on Dec 9, 2015 - 12:31pm CST

Resource Type: 
Journal Article


Extended hospital stays and complications are common among older adults and may lead to morbidity and loss of independence. Specialized geriatric units have been shown to improve outcomes; but, with the growing numbers of older adults, may be difficult to scale to meet needs.


Evaluate a quality improvement initiative that redesigned unit-based workflow and trained interprofessional teams on general medical/surgical units to create care plans for vulnerable older adults using principles of comprehensive geriatric assessment and team management.


Cluster randomized controlled trial of 10 medical/surgical units and intention-to-treat analysis of all patients meeting risk screening criteria.


N=1,384, median age = 80.9 years, 53.5% female. Mean difference in observed versus expected LOS was 1.03 days shorter (p=0.006); incidence of complications (OR 0.45; 95% CI 0.21, 0.98) and transfer to intensive care (OR 0.45; 95% CI 0.25, 0.79) lower among patients admitted to intervention units; incidence of discharge to institutional care was higher (OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.06, 1.93). Mortality during hospitalization (OR 0.64; 95% CI 0.37, 1.11) did not differ between groups.


Reorganizing general medical/surgical units to provide team-based, interprofessional, care can improve outcomes among hospitalized older adults.

Jeff Edward Borenstein
Harriet Udin Aronow
Linda Burnes Bolton
Mariane Ivy Dimalanta
Ellen Chan
Katherine Palmer
Xiao Zhang
Bradley Rosen
Glenn David Braunstein