The authors of a recently published study highlighted the value of transitional care nurses providing geriatrics-focused attention to older adults in the ED
New research suggests that transitional care nurses with geriatrics training can help facilitate the discharge of older patients who present to the ED for care. Investigators found that such interventions can reduce hospitalization in this patient group, enabling patients to avoid hospital-associated risks such as functional and cognitive declines and healthcare-associated infections.
- • The authors of a new study investigated the effect of transitional care nurses on hospitalization at three hospitals that follow the Geriatric Emergency Department Innovations in Care through Workforce, Informatics, and Structural Enhancements (GEDI WISE) model, an approach developed to address the unique healthcare challenges of this growing population of older adults in the emergency environment.
- • In the GEDI WISE model, transitional care nurses assess older adults for cognitive function, delirium, agitation, functional status, fall risk, and any signs of caregiver strain. They work with pharmacists, social workers, and other specialists to coordinate care and implement appropriate support services so that patients can be discharged safely.
- • Investigators considered more than 57,000 patients over the age of 65 years who presented to EDs at the participating sites between 2013 and 2015. Roughly 10% of these patients were seen by transitional care nurses, and these patients were, on average, 10% less likely to be admitted when compared with similar patients who were not evaluated by a transitional care nurse.
- • Transitional care nurses do not necessarily evaluate all older patients who present to the ED, but rather they evaluate those patients who potentially can be discharged with appropriate support systems in place.