BACKGROUND: Hip fracture is a common cause of long hospital stay in the elderly. Approximately one third of these patients die within the first year. As a consequence geriatric and orthopedic collaboration (orthogeriatrics) has been organized in different ways. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of a multidisciplinary geriatric in-hospital intervention on patient outcome. METHODS: A total of 495 elderly hip fracture patients consecutively admitted to orthopedic surgery, were followed. Data were based on medical records. The intervention group (n=233) was compared to a historical cohort group (n=262) receiving traditional orthopedic treatment. Intervention program was based on initial physical and mental screening and evaluation, geriatric-focused care, and early discharge planning. The intervention was provided by a multidisciplinary geriatric team. After discharge, follow-up home-visits by a physiotherapist were performed, except for patients discharged to nursing homes, due to a 24-hour staff and easy access to the GP. RESULTS: Median length of stay was reduced from 15 to 13 days. More patients began treatment with calcium/vitamin-D and bisphosphonate (p=sig). There was no difference in hemoglobin variation between the time of admission and three to six months post admission, and no difference in three-month readmissions (odds ratio (OR) = 1.09 [95%CI: 0.71;1.67]). Discharge destination was unchanged (OR=0.93 [95%CI: 0.52; 1.65]). In-hospital mortality was 8% in the intervention group vs. 6% (p=0.48), in the control group. Three-month mortality was 16% in the intervention group vs. 15% (p=0.39), in the control group. In the intervention group, residents from nursing homes had a higher three-month mortality (OR=2.37 [95% CI: 0.99; 5.67]), and the risk of new fractures within two years decreased from 9.5% to 7.7%, though not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Our study indicates that co-management of hip fracture patients by orthopedic surgeons and geriatricians may be associated with a reduction in length of hospital stay without negatively affecting major patient outcomes. The concept should be further developed particularly among the frail elderly.
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