Better care for elderly patients

FAU researchers develop new guidelines for emergency care

Researchers at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) are coordinating an international network which hopes to improve the medical care of elderly and frail patients. Researchers at the Institute for Biomedicine of Ageing have set themselves the objective, along with their colleagues from thirteen other countries, to develop a code of practice that should make it easier for doctors to provide elderly emergency patients with optimal treatment. The inaugural meeting of the interRAI Network of Excellence in Acute Care (iNEAC) took place in Nuremberg.

The iNEAC Network’s main tasks are to develop guidelines for acute medicine, implement these in practice and conduct a scientific evaluation of the process. The guidelines should make it easier for doctors, to make informed decisions even when dealing with difficult cases, thereby improving treatment procedures in acute geriatric hospital wards and improving the doctor’s evaluation of effective treatment. The guidelines can therefore also help reduce costs.

In the accident and emergency department doctors should for example, be able to refer to an evaluation form, which will help them reliably assess the state of health of elderly and frail patients, identify high-risk patients and arrange inpatient admittance if necessary.

Dr. Walter Swodoba, who manages the group with colleagues from Australia and Iceland, is convinced of the project’s success, “The scientific network makes the development of medical assessment guidelines considerably more effective. I believe that this will considerably improve the quality of health care for elderly patients in acute hospitals in the future.”

iNEAC is currently composed of thirty experts from thirteen nations, who meet every nine months. Screening in Accident and Emergency departments is one of several research activities currently being closely studied by researchers at the Institute of Biomedicine of Ageing (Director: Prof. Dr. Cornel Sieber).

Further information for the media:

Dr. Walter Swoboda
Telefon 0911/398 2438

uni | media service | news No. 186/2011 from 5.07.2011

Addition information