Hazards of hospitalization: hospitalists and geriatricians educating medical students about delirium and falls in geriatric inpatients.
Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2008;28(4):94-104
Authors: Lang VJ, Clark NS, Medina-Walpole A, McCann R
Geriatric patients are at increased risk for complications from delirium or falls during hospitalization. Medical education, however, generally places little emphasis on the hazards of hospitalization for older inpatients. Geriatricians conducted a faculty development workshop for hospitalists about the hazards of hospitalization for geriatric patients, focusing on two common geriatric syndromes: delirium and falls. The hospitalists then ran workshops for third-year medical students during their inpatient medicine clerkship, introducing two simple tools for assessing fall risk and diagnosing delirium. Students used these tools to evaluate their own patients and then reviewed cases with a geriatrician at the end of one month. A total of 101 students participated in the project and completed a post-intervention multiple choice test, and 73 (72.2%) returned the records of 278 patient evaluations. Compared to the control group from the end of the previous year, test scores increased by an average of 0.84 out of 9 points (9.3% increase, p=0.005, t(117,.05/2)=2.87, p=0.0048). Students also identified 81 patients with delirium and 65 patients at high risk for falling. Hospitalists and geriatricians can effectively partner to increase students' knowledge of two major hazards of hospitalization for geriatric patients.
PMID: 19042223 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]