Geriatric home assessment after hospital discharge

Richard L Kravitz, D. B. Reuben, J. W. Davis, A. Mitchell, K. Hemmerling, R. S. Kington, A. L. Siu

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the feasibility of an intervention involving post- discharge geriatric home assessment and follow-up and to describe the spectrum of significant clinical problems identified during the home assessment. DESIGN: Prospective observational study nested within a randomized controlled trial. SETTING: Inpatient service of a large academic medical center in Southern California. PATIENTS: There were 152 adults aged 65 or greater who had one or more specific risk factors for functional decline or increased mortality, who were awaiting discharge from the hospital, and who were assigned to the intervention arm of a randomized controlled trial of post-discharge comprehensive geriatric home assessment. MAIN RESULTS: During the home assessment, the gerontologic nurse practitioner (GNP) identified new or worsening problems in 150 patients (99%); 61 problems (eg, serum sodium 125 mg/dL; severe orthostatic hypotension) were considered by a reviewing physician to require urgent medical attention. Older age, non- white race, and new incontinence were associated independently with a greater number of findings (P < 0.05). Based on the findings, an interdisciplinary team made an average of 3.4 recommendations per patient; only two of 111 requests for written approval of recommendations were rejected. CONCLUSIONS: Post-discharge visitation by a GNP to patients at high risk is capable of detecting a high yield of important and potentially reversible clinical problems. This multidisciplinary approach is acceptable to physicians. Research is needed to identify additional links between short hospital stays, impairment or instability at discharge, and adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume42
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1994

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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Kravitz, R. L., Reuben, D. B., Davis, J. W., Mitchell, A., Hemmerling, K., Kington, R. S., & Siu, A. L. (1994). Geriatric home assessment after hospital discharge. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 42(12), 1229-1234.