Multidisciplinary quality improvement programme for older patients admitted to a vascular surgery ward*

Alison M. Mudge, Prue McRae, Peter J. Donovan, Michael C. Reade

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Older vascular surgical patients are at high risk of hospital-associated complications and prolonged stays. Aims: To implement a multidisciplinary co-management model for older vascular patients and evaluate impact on length of stay (LOS), delirium incidence, functional decline, medical complications and discharge destination. Methods: Prospective pre-post evaluation of a quality improvement intervention, enrolling pre-intervention (August 2012–January 2013) and post-intervention cohort (September 2013–March 2014). Participants were consenting patients aged 65 years and over admitted to the vascular surgical ward of a metropolitan teaching hospital for at least 3 days. Intervention was physician-led co-management plus a multidisciplinary improvement programme targeting delirium and functional decline. Primary outcomes were LOS, delirium and functional decline. Secondary outcomes were medical complications and discharge destination. Process measures included documented consultation patterns. Administrative data were also compared for all patients aged 65 and older for 12 months pre- and post-intervention. Results: We enrolled 112 participants pre-intervention and 123 participants post-intervention. LOS was reduced post-intervention (geometric mean 7.6 days vs 9.3 days; ratio of geometric means 0.82 (95% confidence interval CI0.68–1.00), P = 0.04). There was a trend to less delirium (18 (14.6%) vs 24 (21.4%), P = 0.17) and functional decline (18 (14.6%) vs 27 (24.3%), P = 0.06), with greatest reductions in the urgently admitted subgroup. Administrative data showed reduced median LOS (5.2 days vs 6 days, P = 0.03) and greater discharge home (72% vs 50%, P < 0.01). Conclusions: Physician-led co-management plus a multidisciplinary improvement programme may reduce LOS and improve functional outcomes in older vascular surgical patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-748
Number of pages8
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • delirium
  • functional decline
  • length of hospital stay
  • patient care team
  • vascular surgery

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