Improving hospital care for older patients

Leading researcher and physician Alison Mudge will share research and experience in improving outcomes for hospitalised elders at an international gerontology conference in July in San Francisco.

Group of female researchers

Professor Alison Mudge (back, centre) and CHERISH project associates Angela Byrnes, Adrienne Young and (front) Prue McRae, Elise Treleaven, Breony Kurtz, and Margaret Cahill

Professor Mudge, Clinical Director Research and Education, Internal Medicine and Aged Care at RBWH, will present on ‘Eat Walk Engage: Improving outcomes for hospitalised elders’.

The EWE program supports ward teams to help their older patients to a faster and better recovery.

Professor Mudge said the program had delivered improved outcomes for acute care patients aged over 65 at RBWH including improved nutritional intake and mobility; reduced adverse events such as falls and pressure injuries and a reduction in time spent in hospital.

“The challenge now is to sustain and grow the program and work towards a truly older person friendly hospital,” she said.

The research will be presented as part of the session on Advancing Hospital Care for Older Adults: Science, Policy and Practice From Four Global Partners.

Dr Mudge and her associates have also recently published their CHERISH research protocol in BMC Geriatrics.

CHERISH (collaboration for hospitalised elders reducing the impact of stays in hospital) is evaluating the effectiveness and implementation strategy of Eat Walk Engage in a real-world setting. It is supported by a Queensland Accelerate Partnership Grant funded by QUT, Metro North and Sunshine Coast Health Services and the Queensland Government.

The multi-site cluster randomised study being conducted in medical and surgical wards at RBWH, Prince Charles, Caboolture and Nambour hospitals is due for completion in June 2017.

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