New project aims to improve trauma care for elderly patients

New project aims to improve trauma care for elderly patients

By: HIPRC Date: October 11th, 2017

Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center researchers are looking to improve trauma care among geriatric patients. The Geriatric Trauma Bundle, or Geri-T Bundle, responds to the needs of a growing national population of people 65 years and older.

Nationally, unintentional injury was the seventh most common cause of death in people 65 years old and up in 2015, and older patients have significantly worse outcomes than younger patients with more serious injuries. Over a 10-year period from 2006-2016, Harborview Medical Center cared for more than 10,000 injured geriatric patients, and the proportion of trauma patients over age 65 rose during that period.

The Geri-T Bundle seeks to help meet this growing need and will be designed specifically for elderly trauma patients admitted to the Trauma Intensive Care Unit. The new project launches Oct. 17.

First, researchers will form a multidisciplinary work group to develop the bundle, which will include three to five evidence-based clinical targets for improvement and corresponding interventions. Coordinators plan to include leaders from trauma surgery, anesthesia, geriatrics, palliative medicine, pulmonary critical care, physical and occupational therapy, nursing, pharmacy, social work and quality improvement.

The next step will be to implement the bundle at Harborview Medical Center and monitor compliance and impacts over the course of a year.

Researchers will continue to evaluate and revise the bundle based on the chosen clinical targets, with the goal of incorporating the bundle more widely across UW Medicine.

The principle co-investigators for the Geri-T Bundle are Kathleen O’Connell, M.D. and Elisabeth Powelson, M.D., M.S., former and current HIPRC postdoctoral research fellows, respectively. Their work will also be mentored by UW Medicine Department of Surgery Associate Professor Bryce Robinson, M.D., M.S., and HIPRC Director and UW Medicine Department of Anesthesiology Professor Monica Vavilala, M.D.