Aims To identify the impact of in-reach services providing specialist nursing care on outcomes for older people presenting to the emergency department from residential aged care. Methods Retrospective cohort study compared clinical outcomes of 2278 presentations from 2009 with 2051 presentations from 2011 before and after the implementation of in-reach services. Results Median emergency department length of stay decreased by 24 minutes (7.0 vs 6.6 hours, P < 0.001) and admission rates decreased by 23% (68 vs 45%, P < 0.001). The proportion of people with repeat emergency department visits within six months decreased by 12% (27 vs 15%). The proportion of admitted patients who were discharged with an end of life palliative care plan increased by 13% (8 vs 21%, P = 0.007). Conclusions There was a significant reduction in the median length of stay, fewer hospital admissions and fewer repeat visits for people from residential aged care following implementation of in-reach services.
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