A study from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that elderly patients hospitalized for falls are likely to be later readmitted.
According to Dr. Lauren Southerland, an emergency medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center who specializes in geriatric medical care:
We found that more than one-third of older adults with minor head trauma caused by a fall will need to come back to the emergency room within 90 days after discharge.
Dr. Southerland points out that emergency departments are often the only healthcare contact for discharged patients, and doctors should try their best to address the patient’s home care needs.
Older adults with falls are a higher risk population that could benefit from early interventions to reduce their need for recurrent emergency care. An emergency department visit for a fall should be seen as an opportunity to address unmet patient care needs.
Home care coordination is particularly important for elderly fall patients, who are at risk for functional decline due to difficulty accessing resources at home.