Performance of the interRAI ED Screener for Risk-Screening in Older Adults Accessing Paramedic Services
Paramedics respond to a significant number of non-emergency calls generated by older adults each year. Paramedics routinely assess and screen older adults to determine risk level and need for additional follow-up. This project implemented the interRAI ED Screener into routine care to determine whether the screener and resulting Assessment Urgency Algorithm (AUA) score is useful in predicting adverse outcomes.
We conducted a population-based retrospective study using administrative health data for patients aged 65+ assessed by paramedics from July 2016 to February 2017. Patients were assigned an AUA score and classified into three risk categories. Outcome data including hospitalizations, Emergency Department (ED) visits, home care status, and survival were collected and compared across AUA risk categories using descriptive and analytical statistics.
Of the 2,801 patients screened, 31.9% were classified as high risk, 23.6% as moderate risk, and 44.6% as low risk. Patients who scored in the highest risk category were found to have longer hospital stays, and were more likely to require home care (p<.0001). The AUA risk category also predicted survival (p<.001).
The AUA predicted multiple adverse outcomes in this population. Use of the AUA by paramedics may aid in earlier identification of those in need of additional intervention and services.
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