Performance of the interRAI ED Screener for Risk-Screening in Older Adults Accessing Paramedic Services

  • Alexandra Whate University of Waterloo
  • Jacobi Elliott University of Waterloo, Lawson Health Research Institute
  • Dustin Carter Middlesex-London Paramedic Service
  • Paul Stolee University of Waterloo
Keywords: risk-screening, older adults, paramedicine, emergency services, interRAI

Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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.

 

Author Biographies

Alexandra Whate, University of Waterloo

School of Public Health and Health Systems

Jacobi Elliott, University of Waterloo, Lawson Health Research Institute

School of Public Health and Health Systems

 

 

Dustin Carter, Middlesex-London Paramedic Service

Community Paramedicine

Paul Stolee, University of Waterloo

School of Public Health and Health Systems

Published
2021-02-18
How to Cite
Whate, A., Elliott, J., Carter, D., & Stolee, P. (2021). Performance of the interRAI ED Screener for Risk-Screening in Older Adults Accessing Paramedic Services. Canadian Geriatrics Journal, 24(1), 8-13. https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.24.451
Section
Original Research