San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center has taken steps to prevent the onset of disability because of hospitalization -- known as hospital-associated disability -- among seniors, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
About Hospital-Associated Disability
According to the Chronicle, hospitalization is responsible for about half of all new-onset disability and worsening of existing physical disability among seniors older than age 70.
Factors contributing to the onset of hospital-associated disability include excessive bed rest and the lack of exercise. Individuals older than age 70 lose on average more than 15% of their muscle strength with 10 days of bed rest.
Calif. Hospital Addresses Issue
Five years ago, San Francisco General became the first California hospital to adopt a model of care established at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in the 1990s that aims to improve outcomes for older patients.
The model -- called Acute Care for Elders, or Ace -- uses a four-pronged approach focusing on:
- Patient-centered care;
- Interior design;
- Early discharge planning; and
- Careful daily review of medications and procedures.
Use of the Ace model has reduced the number of patients with disabilities at discharge, the Chronicle reports. It also has allowed more patients to return home after hospitalization, rather than being transferred to a nursing home.
In addition, a recent study of the Ace model found that it reduced costs (Pierluissi, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/10).