Objectives: To determine whether geriatric triage decisions made using a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) performed online are less reliable than face-to-face (FTF) decisions. Design: Multisite noninferiority prospective cohort study. Two specialist geriatricians assessed individuals sequentially referred for an acute care geriatric consultation. Participants were allocated to one FTF assessment and an additional assessment (FTF or online (OL)), creating two groups—two FTF (FTF-FTF, n = 81) or online and FTF (OL-FTF, n = 85). Setting: Three acute care public hospitals in two Australian states. Participants: Admitted individuals referred for CGA. Intervention: Nurse-administered CGA, based on the interRAI Acute Care assessment system accessed online and other online clinical data such as pathology results and imaging enabling geriatricians to review participants’ information and provide input into their care from a distance. Measurements: The primary decision subjected to this analysis was referral for permanent residential care. Geriatricians also recorded recommendations for referrals and variations for medication management and judgment regarding prognosis at discharge and after 3 months. Results: Overall percentage agreement was 88% (n = 71) for the FTF-FTF group and 91% (n = 77) for the OL-FTF group. The difference in agreement between the FTF-FTF and OL-FTF groups was −3%, indicating that there was no difference between the methods of assessment. Judgements made regarding diagnoses of geriatric syndromes, medication management, and prognosis (with regard to hospital outcome and location at 3 months) were found to be equally reliable in each mode of consultation. Conclusion: Geriatric assessment performed online using a nurse-administered structured CGA system was no less reliable than conventional assessment in making clinical triage decisions.
- comprehensive geriatric assessment
- geriatric medicine
- reliability study
- video conferencing