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Penn Physicians Featured in Philadelphia Inquirer on Geriatric Hip Fracture Treatment

Dr. Samir Mehat

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently featured Penn Medicine's Geriatric Hip Fracture Program in an article discussing improved outcomes for senior patients who have expedited treatment for their hip fractures.

Samir Mehta, MD, Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma and Alysa Krain, MD, a geriatrician and clinical assistant professor of Infectious Disease and Geriatric Medicine, are quoted, discussing Penn’s ‘Geriatric Hip Fracture Alert’ process.

Implemented in 2015 and unique to Penn, the ‘Geriatric Hip Fracture Alert’ is a major component in this streamlined clinical process, as time is a critical component when treating geriatric hip fractures (unnecessary delays can significantly increase complications). The alert was utilized at Penn Presbyterian, last year, in treating a geriatric hip fracture patient whose story was also profiled in the same article.

Now, the minute a hip-fracture patient enters the hospital about a dozen people — surgeons, nurse managers, researchers, hospitalists, geriatricians, therapists, social workers — get a hip-fracture alert text similar to what they receive for stroke patients. The group has streamlined processes and made sure that elderly patients, who don’t tolerate medications as well as younger people, get painkillers and other medicines that won’t make their problems worse.

Mehta said that patients are more likely to suffer from complications like heart and lung problems or pressure sores if they wait a long time for surgery. The new approach aims to get the bone repaired and have patients up and moving around as soon as possible.

There’s much more communication between staff members now, which ‘by far improves the efficacy and quality of care,’ Mehta said.”

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