New model of care for falls patients

Aged and community care staff now have greater guidance about how to care for older orthopaedic patients returning from hospital, following the release of a new multidisciplinary guide.

A new orthogeriatric guide which promises to assist aged and community care staff in caring for older discharged patients, has just been launched by the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI).

The guide is the first of its kind to have been released in the state, offering a best practice multidisciplinary model of care for older people with orthopaedic issues.

The new model of care aims to ensure that older people with fractures have an initial assessment by a specialist aged health physician, proceeded by on-going care from specialist aged care services working in tandem with orthopedic health professionals.

The model will provide treatment which looks at the person as a whole – not just the fracture – picking up any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, dementia, cardiac, renal or respiratory failure.

One of the authors of the publication and senior staff geriatrician at Concord Hospital, Dr Laura Ahmad, hails the clinical practice guide as a valuable resource for the sector.

“This guide could be a resource for anyone who may be involved in looking after a frail older patient who has had a fracture,” Dr Ahmad said.

“It should make them aware of the different concerns and complications that may arise for these patients.

“…If everyone that provides health care services to older people with fractures uses this guide we have the potential to dramatically benefit patients, carers and the community.”

The resource highlights the important role that aged and community care staff have in caring for a orthopaedic patient, once they are discharged from hospital.

According to the guide, aged and community care staff, family and carers of older people with a fracture will be asked to offer advice and information and be closely involved in any decisions made around patient care.

It also recommends that patients from a high level care facility such as a nursing home or those patients whose discharge plan includes placement in a high level aged care home, should receive slow stream rehabilitation at the facility. This is because frail patients will not be able to tolerate or benefit from a more intensive rehabilitation regime.

The guide was developed after extensive consultation with experts and a review of local practice and international evidence. It emphasises collaboration between aged health and orthopaedic services and strong communication between health professionals and families and carers.

“That is why it is a good model,” Dr Ahmad said.

There should be better information and communication provided to everyone in the community [about a patient’s care] that is more uniformly appropriate.

“People should be sent to the right level of care and receive the right amount of services to support them, first time around to prevent future medical complications and issues.

It is all about “getting it right the first time.”

Tags: aged, agency, care, clinical, for, guide, innovation-, orthogeriatric,

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