Introduction of the orthogeriatric co-management model increases the quality of care : a pilot study


Orthogeriatric care ; integrated care ; geriatricians ; orthopedics ; multidisciplinary treatment

Published online: Apr 16 2021

Siddhartha Lieten, Karen Pien, Sven Van Laere, Bert Bravenboer, Thierry Scheerlinck

From the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium


Traditionally, geriatric patients with musculoskeletal or osteoarticular problems will be admitted to an orthopedic ward and will be treated by sur- geons. However, these patients often suffer from comorbidities requiring geriatric management. In this study, the orthogeriatric co-management (OG- CM) model is compared to traditional orthopedic care model in a retrospective pilot study.

In this study, two patients groups were compared during two similar time periods : (1) Group 1 consisted of 119 geriatric patients admitted to an orthopedic (trauma) ward who were treated, with conventional geriatric care on demand (before OG- CM ; October 1?December 31, 2013) and (2) Group 2 consisted of 132 geriatric patients who were admitted after the implementation of the OG-CM model (after OG-CM ; October 1-December 31, 2014). Outcomes measured were : quality of care outcome, mortality and costs.

After the introduction of OG-CM, the number of diagnoses increased (P = 0.011) adjusting for sex, age, length of stay (LOS), urgency and getting surgery (yes/ no). However, this did not lead to a significant higher severity of illness (SOI). The number of readmissions within a year were significantly lower after OG-CM (0.31 per patient) compared to before OG?CM (0.89 per patient) (P < 0.001). No significant difference in in-house and reported mortality after 3 months was observed. Costs increased, but no significant differences were found.

The OG-CM model demonstrated an increase in quality of care. This was indicated by an increased number of medical diagnoses resulting in having less readmissions, without affecting the mortality rates and the LOS. Future randomized multi-centered studies are required to enable causal relationships.