, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 113-122
Date: 25 Jul 2013

Orthogeriatric care for the elderly with hip fractures: where are we?

Abstract

Hip fracture (HF) is a major health care problem in the Western world, associated with significant morbidity, mortality and loss of function. Its incidence is expected to increase as the population ages. The authors discuss the role of a coordinated multidisciplinary team in the management of patients during hospital stay, at discharge and during rehabilitation. Orthogeriatric care should not just be viewed as a multidisciplinary activity, but as a radical alternative to the traditional model of care, an alternative based on all those strategies in which evidence shows an improvement in outcomes in the fractured elderly. Therefore, key points of the care are early surgery, immediate mobilization, prevention and management of delirium, pain and malnutrition, as well as an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. Comprehensive geriatric assessment is useful in identifying frail elderly and in providing information that is essential in formulating clinical recommendations and making care plans. In each hospital, the orthogeriatric unit should represent a center of excellence for treating elderly patients with major fractures. However, when an orthogeriatric project is implemented, it is essential that detailed data about the case-mix of patients, process of care and outcomes are collected, to compare the results with historical data and to be able to participate in audit processes.