Inpatient hospitalization can be a period of high risk for older adults, with an increased likelihood of falls, infections, functional decline, and institutionalization. The personal and economic costs of readmissions, prolonged hospital stays, and hospital-acquired infections and injuries are significant, generating great interest in developing intervention programs to minimize the risks associated with hospitalization. An article in JAMA Internal Medicine evaluates an interdisciplinary care program designed to improve the outcomes for hospitalized older adults.
The interdisciplinary team, known as the Mobile Acute Care of the Elderly (MACE) service, is an inpatient service provided to older adults at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The MACE team, which includes geriatric physicians, a social worker, and a clinical nurse specialist, meets daily to discuss the care received by MACE patients, focusing on improving coordination of care, decreasing rehospitalization and hospital-acquired ailments, discharge planning, and providing education to patients and their families.
A total of 173 patients receiving the MACE service were compared to a matching cohort of patients receiving standard care. Relative to the standard care group, participants in the MACE group were less likely to experience adverse events (such as falls, infections, or pressure ulcers) and had shorter average hospital stays. This interdisciplinary assessment, planning, and education model may be a way to improve hospitalization outcomes for older adults.