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Physician Resource Utilization after Geriatric Trauma

Taheri, Paul A. MD; Iteld, Lawrence H. BA; Michaels, Andrew J. MD; Edelstein, Steve MD; Di Ponio, Lisa MD; Rodriguez, Jorge L. MD

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: October 1997 - Volume 43 - Issue 4 - p 565-569

Objective  As health care resources become increasingly strained, the value of physician consultation has come under heightened scrutiny. This report reviews the value of early consultation by the physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) service to an integrated trauma service for geriatric patients with multiple trauma.

Methods  We retrospectively reviewed the records of 110 geriatric trauma patients (age > 60 years) with an Injury Severity Score >or=to 15 to evaluate the effects of PMR consultation. Patients in group 1 were admitted to a general surgical service, and those in group 2 were admitted to a multidisciplinary trauma service. Demographic and physiologic factors, as well as short-term and long-term outcomes, were evaluated, and a subgroup analysis was performed to compare early (<or=to3 days) versus late (>3 days) consultation by PMR.

Results  Although there were significant differences in Glasgow Coma Scale score and length of stay, no differences were found within groups in other demographic, physiologic, or outcome data. Focused review of PMR intervention based on early versus late consultation revealed no significant difference between the two groups. Furthermore, an after-discharge phone survey revealed no significant group differences in dependence on a care provider or nursing home placement, readmission to hospital, employment status, or current functional activity status.

Conclusions  Long-term patient functional outcome and the in-house rehabilitation process are not affected by integration of PMR into a multidisciplinary trauma team or early PMR consultation.

From the Division of Trauma, Burn, and Emergency Surgery (P.A.T., L.H.I., A.J.M., S.E., L.D.P.), Department of Surgery, University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and the Department of Surgery (J.L.R.), Hennepin County Medical Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, September 19-21, 1996, Houston, Texas.

Address for reprints: Paul A. Taheri, MD, Division of Trauma, Burn, and Emergency Surgery, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0033.

© Williams & Wilkins 1997. All Rights Reserved.