Winning hospital unit reduces stays for frail elderly patients

A group of nine people standing in a hospital ward
Members of the award winning Frailty Assessment Unit
June 15, 2021

A unit dedicated to helping elderly hospital patients return home sooner has won the Excellence in Innovation award at the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) Excellence Awards (external site).

Fiona Stanley Hospital Fremantle Hospitals Group (FSFHG) hospital management, frontline clinical staff, external agencies and stakeholders collaborated to form the integrated Frailty Assessment Unit.

The unit, the first of its kind in Western Australia, provides frail elderly patients an integrated continuum of care through Fiona Stanley Hospital and back into their own home.

Patients undergo a geriatric assessment by a multi-disciplinary team, including clinical and functional assessments.

Consultant Geriatrician and FSFHG Geriatric Medicine Head of Service, Dr Bhaskar Mandal, said evidence shows prolonged hospital stays can be risk factors for hospital acquired complications, loss of independence and early entry into residential care, especially amongst the frail population.

“Our outcomes include a 30 per cent reduction in length of stay and a 20 per cent increase in patient’s returning home within 30 hours of hospital admission,” Bhaskar said.

“It is great to win this award, but really we are just proud of improving care for our elderly patients – to care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours.”

SMHS Chief Executive Paul Forden said the Frailty Assessment Unit deserved recognition for the positive impact it has had on care outcomes for older patients.

The SMHS Excellence Awards celebrate high-achieving staff across Fiona Stanley, Fremantle, Rockingham General and Murray District hospitals who exemplify our core values of Care, Integrity, Respect, Excellence and Teamwork in their care and service each and every day.

See more 2021 SMHS Excellence Awards winners (external site).

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