Frailty is a state of physiological vulnerability that predisposes many older adult trauma patients to poor health outcomes. Specialized care pathways for frail trauma patients have been shown to improve outcomes, but the compliance and sustainability of these pathways have not been reported (Bryant et al., 2019; Engelhardt et al., 2018).
We retrospectively measured compliance and sustainability during the first 2 years of a frailty pathway for patients 65 years or older at an urban Level I trauma center. Compliance to 19 pathway elements was collected for 279 pathway patients between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2018. Compliance was analyzed and reported as a percentage of the total possible times each element could have been completed per pathway guidelines. Benchmark compliance was 75% or more.
Retrospective 2-year mean overall compliance to all pathway elements was 68.2% and improved from Year 1 (65.0%) to Year 2 (71.4%). Seven elements achieved a mean 75% or more compliance over the 2-year period: frailty screening on admission (92.8%), consultation requests for physical therapy (97.9%), geriatrics (96.2%), and nutrition (92.3%), consultant care within 72 hr of admission (78.0%), delirium screening 3 times daily (76.3%), and daily senna administration (76.0%). Compliance to 10 elements significantly improved from Year 1 to Year 2 and significantly worsened in 2 elements.
Many standardized geriatric care processes for frail older adult trauma patients can be successfully integrated into routine daily inpatient practice and sustained over time. Multicenter studies are needed to demonstrate how to improve compliance and to understand better which pathway elements are most effective.

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