Published on June 16, 2012 at 8:32 AM
Delirium is sudden, severe confusion, and can be caused by a wide range of factors -- from mental illness and drug reactions, to a temporary lack of oxygen. Delirium can cause injury, and lengthen an already long hospital stay. A 2005 University of Pittsburgh study estimated delirium incurs an average cost of $49,000 per patient, or $100 billion per year, nationally. Older patients are particularly at risk.
"Studies have shown that the longer older patients stay in hospitals, the more co-morbidities that can occur, the more medications that are prescribed, and the greater the risk for developing delirium," said CMS project principal investigator and Methodist Chief Quality Officer Stuart Dobbs, M.D.
Dobbs will work with Baylor College of Medicine and Methodist colleagues to hire as many as 27 new employees, including certified health care Grand-Aides, to train health care practitioners across the Methodist Hospital System to identify patients who are at high risk of developing delirium, or who may already be experiencing delirium, and to address delirium's symptoms and causes quickly.
"Both projects are perfect symbols of what Methodist has become -- a leading academic medical center," said Marc Boom, M.D., president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital System. "We are taking the things we learn from our own research and applying them directly to patient care -- to improve the quality of people's lives and to reduce waste in the health care economy."
Source The Methodist Hospital