Published in BMC Geriatrics 2014 14(48) this article aims to evaluate the feasibility and patient satisfaction with a Geriatrician-led discharge service for older adults living in a residential care facility. It also looks at its effect on the uptake of Advanced Care Planning.
In 2002–4 a randomised controlled trial was conducted in Melbourne, Australia comparing the Geriatrician–led outreach service to usual care for RCF residents. Patients were recruited during their acute hospital stay and followed up at the RCF for six months. The intervention group received a post-discharge home visit within 96 hours, at which a comprehensive geriatric assessment was performed and a care plan developed. Participants and their families were also offered further meetings to discuss ACPs and document Advanced Directives (AD). Additional reviews were made available for assessment and management of intercurrent illness within the RCF. Consumer satisfaction was surveyed using a postal questionnaire.
The study included 116 participants (57 intervention and 59 controls) with comparable baseline characteristics. The service was well received by consumers demonstrated by higher satisfaction with care in the intervention group compared to controls (95% versus 58%, p = 0.006).
AD were completed by 67% of participants/proxy decision makers in the intervention group compared to 13% of RCF residents prior to service commencement. At six months there was a significant reduction in outpatient visits (intervention 21 (37%) versus controls 45 (76%), (p < 0.001), but no difference in readmissions rates (39% intervention versus 34% control, p = 0.6). There was a trend towards reduced hospital bed-day utilisation (intervention 271 versus controls 372 days).
It is feasible to provide a supported discharge service that includes geriatrician assessment and care planning within a RCF. By expanding the service there is the potential for acute health care cost savings by decreasing the demand for outpatient consultation and further reducing acute care bed-days.
Try my Google Co-op search engine to search authoritative health and geriatric/gerontology sites on the WWW