Background: Geriatric rapid observation units may represent an alternative to hospitalization in older patients with non-critical acute illness. Aims: To describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to a geriatric observation unit called URGe (Unità Geriatrica Rapida), implemented in an Italian hospital and characterized by multidisciplinary medical staff with geriatric expertise, fast-track access to diagnostic resources, regular use of point-of-care ultrasound and predicted length of stay (LOS) < 72 h. Methods: The medical records of patients admitted to URGe during a 3-month period (452 subjects, 247 F and 205 M, median age 82 years, IQR 77-87) were retrospectively examined. The primary study endpoint was transferral from URGe to regular wards. Baseline covariates included demographics, comprehensive geriatric assessment, acute illnesses, comorbidities, vital signs and routine laboratory tests. Results: Despite elevated burden of multimorbidity (median number of chronic diseases 4, IQR 2-5) and frailty (median Rockwood Clinical Frailty Scale score 4, IQR 3-6), only 137 patients (30.3%) required transferral from URGe to regular wards. The main factors positively associated with this outcome were Rockwood score, fever, cancer and red cell distribution width (P < 0.05 on multivariate logistic regression model). The rate of complications (mortality, delirium, and falls) during URGe stay was low (0.5%, 7% and 2%, respectively). Overall duration of hospital stay was lower than that of a group of historical controls matched by age, sex, main diagnosis, multimorbidity and frailty. Conclusions: The URGe model of acute geriatric care is feasible, safe and has the potential of reducing unnecessary hospitalizations of older patients.
Implementing a multidisciplinary rapid geriatric observation unit for non-critical older patients referred to hospital: observational study on real-world data / Nouvenne, Antonio; Ticinesi, Andrea; Cerundolo, Nicoletta; Prati, Beatrice; Parise, Alberto; Chiussi, Giulia; Frosio, Laura; Guerra, Angela; Brianti, Ettore; Fabi, Massimo; Meschi, Tiziana. - In: AGING CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH. - ISSN 1720-8319. - 34:3(2022), pp. 599-609. [10.1007/s40520-021-01967-z]
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