January 26, 2017
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) recently announced a new geriatrics-orthopedics co-management program that will integrate geriatricians and geriatrics-trained clinicians as co-managers with orthopedic surgeons in order to improve outcomes and lower costs among patients with hip fractures.
AGS will utilize $1.4 million in funds donated by the John A. Hartford Foundation to launch the program nationwide.
“Our joint investment and partnership with The John A. Hartford Foundation will lead to a new health enterprise to improve care quality and safety for older adults,” Nancy E Lundebjerg, MPA, CEO of AGS, said in a press release. “We're confident the geriatrics-orthopedics model also will accelerate co-managed care in other areas, bringing geriatrics and other medical specialties even closer together.”
According to the press release, hip fractures represent a significant burden, accounting for 260,000 older adult patients hospitalized annually and approximately $18 billion in annual spending.
The model works by incorporating geriatrics care immediately after an older patient is hospitalized for a hip fracture. This allows clinicians to identify and reduce risk for geriatrics-specific complications, such as falls, delirium, or infections.
The co-management model has been proven to reduce length of stay, readmissions, and hospital-related complications. The model has also been shown to improve outcomes by increasing the chances of a patient going directly home after surgery—increasing the likelihood of improved functioning and independence.
Project leads will coordinate the program—launching in January 2017—with early adopter sites by creating and testing training, evaluation, and implementation tools. The project leads will also assist hospitals with measuring the programs success in order to recalibrate based on lessons learned. The co-management program will also provide ongoing consultation, networking, resources for participating hospitals and clinicians.
“Addressing risk factors for older people hospitalized with hip fractures reduces complications and enhances independence and quality of life -- goals at the heart of geriatrics care,” Terry R Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, AGSF, president of the John A Hartford Foundation said in a press release. —David Costill