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Age Ageing. 2016 April; 45(Suppl 1): i8.
Published online 2016 April 4. doi:  10.1093/ageing/afw024.33
PMCID: PMC4890391

33
GIVING PATIENTS A VOICE FOLLOWING A HIP FRACTURE – THE ROLE OF THE PHYSICIAN ASSOCIATE

Topic/Introduction Osteoporosis is a common and debilitating condition affecting many elderly and contributing to around 70,000 hip fractures per year in the UK. The national hip fracture database (NHFD) has driven huge change in the delivery of care for these patients. The NHFD strongly encourages hospitals to collect follow up information about patients following discharge. At our trust we had no reliable mechanism for collecting this information prior to this project and our levels of data collection were low.

Intervention In September 2014 the Physician Associate working in the orthogeriatrics team at our MDT debrief meeting volunteered to start a fortnightly call back service to patients 30 days following their discharge from hospital. This data was collected and recorded on the NHFD.

Improvement For the 8 month period from September 2014–May 2015 time was set aside to make follow-up calls to patients For this 8 month period the 30-day follow-up data completion rate rose from 11.7% (for the same time period in 2014-14) to 41.5% (a 255% increase).

Discussion Due to the nature of the 30day feature in the NHFD we have found that these calls need to be made on a weekly basis to capture patients within the appropriate time window. The data collected during the 30-day follow-up calls included mobility status, current location and if they are continuing with the bone health treatment started whilst in hospital.

There is another side to these calls though, as many patients find they have lost their voice when in hospital – the fracture affects more than just the bone – with large ongoing social knock on effects. The 30 day follow-up calls that are undertaken for the NHFD give us the essential data required but also provide a platform for patients to voice any concerns or give praise – which is fed back to the team in our monthly MDT debriefing sessions.

The follow- up calls have given us information about common questions that need to be addressed before discharge which are being collated into a new patient information leaflet. Patients appreciate the call and feel valued that we are listening to their concerns, even after their actual hospital treatment has ended.

Listening gives us the data we require but the patient gets so much more.


Articles from Age and Ageing are provided here courtesy of Oxford University Press