January 5, 2018

Interdisciplinary program improves outcomes for older surgical patients

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

In this study, an interdisciplinary program that includes a coordinated approach by healthcare professionals in surgery, geriatrics, and anesthesiology was associated with improved postoperative outcomes for high-risk older patients having elective abdominal surgery.

Compared with a control group (143 patients), older patients participating in the Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health program at Duke Health, Durham, North Carolina (183 patients):

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  • had shorter lengths of stay (4 vs 6 days)
  • had lower readmission rates at 7 (2.8% vs 9,9%) and 30 days (7.8% vs 18.35)
  • were more likely to be discharged home with self-care (62.3% vs 51.1%)
  • experienced fewer complications (0.9 vs 1.4), despite higher rates of documented delirium (28.4% vs 5.6%).

Developing an interdisciplinary approach to treating older surgical patients is an important step toward improving surgical outcomes, the authors say.



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