Author(s): Hui E, Ma HM, Tang WH, Lai WS, Au KM,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to promote quality end-of-life (EOL) care for nursing home residents, through the establishment of advance care plan (ACP) and introduction of a new care pathway. This pathway bypassed the emergency room (ER) and acute medical wards by facilitating direct clinical admission to an extended-care facility. DESIGN: An audit on a new clinical initiative that entailed the Community Geriatrics Outreach Service, ER, acute medical wards, and an extended-care facility during winter months in Hong Kong. METHODS: The participants were older nursing home residents enrolled in an EOL program. We monitored the ratio of clinical to emergency admissions, ACP compliance rate, average length of stay (ALOS) in both acute hospital and an extended-care facility, and mortality rates. RESULTS: A total of 76 patients were hospitalized from January to March 2013. Of them, 30 (39\%) were directly admitted to the extended-care facility, either through the liaison of Community Geriatrics Outreach Service (group A, 19/76, 25\%) or transferred from the ER (group B, 11/76, 14\%). The remaining 46 patients (group C, 61\%) were admitted via the ER to acute medical wards following the usual pathway, followed by transfer to an extended-care facility if indicated. The ACP compliance rate was nearly 100\%. In the extended-care unit, groups A and C had similar ALOS of 11.8 and 11.1 days, respectively, whereas group B had a shorter stay of 7.6 days. The ALOS of group C in acute medical wards was 3.5 days. The in-hospital mortality rates were comparable in groups A and C of 26\% and 28\%, respectively, whereas group B had a lower mortality rate of 18\%. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly 40\% of EOL patients could be managed entirely in an extended-care setting without compromising the quality of care and survival. A greater number of patients may benefit from the EOL program by improving the collaboration between community outreach services and ER; and extending hours for direct clinical admission to an extended-care facility. Copyright © 2014 American Medical Directors Association, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Am Med Dir Assoc
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine