HealthPartners expands delirium prevention initiative

98 percent of patients in its Methodist Hospital program delirium free

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–An initiative at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital to prevent delirium in
older patients has decreased the incidence of this serious, but
preventable condition, according to a new report. The program is based
on the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) which was developed at the
Yale University School of Medicine.

An estimated one third to two thirds of hospitalized older Americans are
affected by delirium. Often misdiagnosed as dementia, the condition
causes a sudden change in someone’s thinking, personality and behavior,
increases the risk of serious medical complications and can require
long-term nursing care after discharge from a hospital. However, 98
percent of patients who received delirium prevention services at
Methodist were free of the condition when they left the hospital.

“Delirium is very frightening for patients and families, and it is
associated with serious medical complications,” said Mary Brainerd,
HealthPartners President and CEO. “This analysis adds to growing
evidence that it can and should be prevented.”

Nearly 3,000 patients at Methodist received HELP services in 2014.
Regions Hospital began implementing a similar delirium prevention
program in July. Other HealthPartners hospitals are currently partnering
to implement the program in 2016, including Lakeview Hospital, Hudson
Hospital & Clinic, Amery Medical Center and Westfields Hospital.

Methodist started its program in 2010. It includes assessing all
patients over the age of 70 within four hours of admission to see if
they could benefit from prevention services. The assessment is built
into the electronic medical record and is repeated twice a day for the
entire hospital stay.

To help maintain mental alertness, volunteers visit patients up to three
times a day and engage them through a variety of activities. In
addition, nurses pay special attention to ensure that patients get
enough fluids and walk as often as possible. Physicians are trained to
detect early warning signs and minimize the use of narcotic pain killers
while also managing pain through other approaches. Preventing delirium
can also help reduce medical costs by an estimated $2,500 per patient.

a report
about the delirium prevention program at Methodist Hospital.


Patricia Lund, 952-883-5487
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