A team approach involving specialists from multiple medical disciplines for treating injuries resulting from falls among seniors may help reduce the rate of hospital readmissions, according to a new study.

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit sought to evaluate the quality of care for patients admitted to the hospital’s Trauma Services department. In doing so, they evaluated data from 558 patients, half of whom were 80 years of age or older, from 2012 to 2014, explains a media release from Henry Ford Health System.

The care program at Henry Ford Hospital includes specialists in trauma, geriatrics, behavioral health, pharmacy and physical and occupational therapy, whom all meet collectively to manage and develop a care plan personalized for each patient. Patients are admitted to the Trauma Services department to treat the injury. The specialists then collaborate on the care plan. The patients’ families are also involved, the release continues.

According to the researchers, under the comprehensive care program, the 30-day readmission rate for falls declined 10% from 2012-13 and remained unchanged in 2014. The 30- to 90-day readmission rate from 2012-13 also declined, before rising slightly in 2014.

In addition, no hospitalizations were extended. As well, 56% of patients were found to have suspected delirium with possible dementia, the release notes.

“With the multidisciplinary approach we’ve put into place, we’ve made a significant impact on patients returning to a safer home environment and reducing their risk of subsequent falls and complications that could lead to readmission,” says Jennifer Peltzer-Jones, RN, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Henry Ford’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Services and the study’s lead author, in the release.

The findings were presented recently at the Trauma Quality and Improvement Program’s annual meeting in Tennessee.

[Source(s): Henry Ford Health System, Science Daily]