Along with issues associated with being older, older persons with cognitive impairment, who may experience problems with their memory, reasoning, insight, or their ability to learn, have special needs when
presenting to busy ED environments. Another second significant sub-group includes people residing in long term care. Persons living in long term care are in general older, have complex medical histories and are more likely to present to the ED with cognitive impairment . They Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical experience longer waiting hours, are resource intensive, are more likely to die in hospital [24,25]. A third important sub-group includes older people at the end-of-life. The chaotic ED environment can be particularly burdensome for older patients requiring palliative care. A study by Beyon et al. found that among older people who died in ED, over half of them presented to the ED with a diagnosis that triggered palliative Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical care . However, in ED palliative care is often not provided . High quality care has been shown to be associated with improved survival and health outcomes of elderly patients . The anticipated “greying” of the population, with its attendant increase in older
ED patient attendances, mandates an evaluation of the capacity Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of EDs to deliver quality care to this vulnerable patient group. Accurate assessment of current levels of quality of care in EDs is required to enable Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical a targeted approach to care that is identified as inadequate, to improve patient outcomes. Quality
indicators allow levels of performance to be determined and, as part of a quality management system, provide opportunity for benchmarking and improved care delivery . Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical The development of a comprehensive set of quality indicators (QIs) will aid in improving delivery of care in the ED to the geriatric population. This will be timely in the context of the anticipated burgeoning in the numbers of elderly presenting to EDs. In order to be learn more considered valid, QIs should be [29,30]: 1. Specific & defined, with content validity in the QI definition (including a defined Adenylyl cyclase numerator, denominator, clinical exclusions to the denominator & covariates used for risk adjustment) 2. Meaningful with evidence to link them to the desired outcome 3. Structured to facilitate comparison of care delivery between facilities 4. Amenable to improvement by each particular facility, and 5. Efficiently measurable. Review of the literature revealed one previous publication of a group of ED-specific QIs aimed at geriatric patients . These, proposed by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) indicators, pertain to 3 clinical domains (cognitive assessment, pain, and transitional care) and have a predominant focus on process of care, rather than structure or outcome.