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Unplanned Readmission prevention by a Geriatric Emergency Network for Transitional care – URGENT: a prospective before-after study

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: URGENT is a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) based nurse-led care model in the emergency department (ED) with geriatric follow-up after ED discharge aiming to prevent unplanned ED readmissions. METHODS: A quasi-experimental study (sequential design with two cohorts) was conducted in the ED of University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium). Dutch-speaking, community-dwelling ED patients aged 70 years or older were eligible for enrolment. Patients in the control cohort received usual care. Patient in the intervention cohort received the URGENT care model. A geriatric emergency nurse conducted CGA and interdisciplinary care planning among older patients identified as at risk for adverse events (e.g. unplanned ED readmission, functional decline) with the interRAI ED Screener© and clinical judgement of ED staff. Case manager follow-up was offered to at risk patients without hospitalization after index ED visit. For inpatients, geriatric follow-up was guaranteed on an acute geriatric ward or by the inpatient geriatric consultation team on a non-geriatric ward if considered necessary. Primary outcome was unplanned 90-day ED readmission. Secondary outcomes were ED length of stay (LOS), hospitalization rate, in-hospital LOS, 90-day higher level of care, 90-day functional decline and 90-day post-hospitalization mortality. RESULTS: Almost half of intervention patients (404/886 = 45.6%) were categorized at risk. These received on average seven advices. Adherence rate to advices on the ED, during hospitalization and in community care was 86.1, 74.6 and 34.1%, respectively. One out of four at risk patients without hospitalization after index ED visit accepted case manager follow-up. Unplanned ED readmission occurred in 170 of 768 (22.1%) control patients and in 205 of 857 (23.9%) intervention patients (p = .11). The intervention group had shorter ED LOS (12.7 h versus 19.1 h in the control group; p < .001), but higher rate of hospitalization (70.0% versus 67.0% in the control group; p = .003). CONCLUSIONS: The URGENT care model shortened ED LOS and increased the hospitalization rate, but did not prevent unplanned ED readmissions. A geriatric emergency nurse could improve in-hospital patient management, but failed to introduce substantial out-hospital case-management.
Journal: BMC Geriatrics
ISSN: 1471-2318
Issue: 1
Volume: 19
Pages: 1 - 10
Publication year:2019
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Government, Higher Education