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Researchers plot acute-care assessment system

A research team has received more than $770,000 from the Federal Department of Social Services to develop and test a new assessment system for acute hospital care.

Professor Len Gray, director of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine, is leading the project, working with associate professor Ruth Hubbard and Dr Nancye Peel. Gray said the research team aims to design an early warning and response system for all patients admitted to acute care and added it would be most valuable for older patients.

Gray said: “Older patients admitted to hospital have a greater risk of developing geriatric syndromes such as functional decline, falls, delirium, pressure ulcers, loss of autonomy and morale, which may ultimately lead to placement in long-term residential care.”

He added the project would involve integrating case findings and good aged-care practice into the program of general care.

“This will fill a gap in cognitive, functional and psychosocial screening and assessment, ensuring appropriate treatment and action at the time of admission,” Gray said.

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