Objective: To examine the impact of orthogeriatric services on 30-day mortality and length of stay (LOS) for hip fracture patients undergoing surgery in public hospitals in New South Wales.
Design, setting and patients: A retrospective analysis of patients aged 65 years and older who had a fractured hip and received surgical intervention between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2011 at one of the 37 NSW public hospitals operating on hip fracture patients.
Main outcome measures: 30-day mortality and LOS.
Results: During the study period, there were 9601 hip fracture cases for which surgery was done. Mean age, sex and comorbidity distribution were similar for hip fracture patients treated in hospitals with an orthogeriatric service compared with those treated in hospitals without an orthogeriatric service. There were 706 deaths within 30 days of hip fracture surgery, and the overall unadjusted 30-day mortality rate was 7.4%. The median adjusted 30-day mortality rate for hospitals with an orthogeriatric service was significantly lower than that for hospitals without an orthogeriatric service (6.2% v 8.4%; P < 0.002). Median total LOS was longer at hospitals with an orthogeriatric service compared with hospitals that did not have an orthogeriatric service (26 days v 22 days; P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The presence of an orthogeriatric service was associated with a reduction in 30-day mortality but a longer LOS. More research is required to understand the key aspects of care that determine health outcomes. The recently launched Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry will provide data that will enable improvements in care.