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M.J. Pereira, E. Chong, J.A.D. Molina, S.H.X. Ng, E.F. Goh, B. Zhu, M. Chan, W.S. Lim

J Frailty Aging 2023;12(3)214-220

Background: The Emergency Department Interventions for Frailty (EDIFY) program was developed to deliver early geriatric specialist interventions at the Emergency Department (ED). EDIFY has been successful in reducing acute admissions among older adults. Objectives: We aimed to examine the effectiveness of EDIFY in improving health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and length of stay (LOS), and evaluate EDIFY’s cost-effectiveness. Design: A quasi-experiment study. Setting: The ED of a 1700-bed tertiary hospital. Participants: Patients (≥85 years) pending acute hospital admission and screened by the EDIFY team to be potentially suitable for discharge or transfer to low-acuity care areas. Intervention: EDIFY versus standard-care. Measurements: Data on demographics, comorbidities, premorbid function, and frailty status were gathered. HRQOL was measured using EQ-5D-5L over 6 months. We used a crosswalk methodology to compute Singapore-specific index scores from EQ-5D-5L responses and calculated quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. LOS and bills in Singapore-dollars (SGD) before subsidy from ED attendances (including admissions, if applicable) were obtained. We estimated average programmatic EDIFY cost and performed multiple imputation (MI) for missing data. QALYs gained, LOS and cost were compared. Potential uncertainties were also examined. Results: Among 100 participants (EDIFY=43; standard-care=57), 61 provided complete data. For complete cases, there were significant QALYs gained at 3-month (coefficient=0.032, p=0.004) and overall (coefficient=0.096, p=0.002) for EDIFY, whilst treatment cost was similar between-groups. For MI, we observed only overall QALYs gained for EDIFY (coefficient=0.102, p=0.001). EDIFY reduced LOS by 17% (Incident risk ratio=0.83, p=0.015). In a deterministic sensitivity analysis, EDIFY’s cost-threshold was SGD$2,500, and main conclusions were consistent in other uncertainty scenarios. Mean bills were: EDIFY=SGD$4562.70; standard-care=SGD$5530.90. EDIFY’s average programmatic cost approximated SGD$469.30. Conclusions: This exploratory proof-of-concept study found that EDIFY benefits QALYs and LOS, with equivalent cost, and is potentially cost-effective. The program has now been established as standard-care for older adults attending the ED at our center.

M.J. Pereira ; E. Chong ; J.A.D. Molina ; S.H.X. Ng ; E.F. Goh ; B. Zhu ; M. Chan ; W.S. Lim (2022): Evaluating Quality-of-Life, Length of Stay and Cost-Effectiveness of a Front-Door Geriatrics Program: An Exploratory Proof-of-Concept Study. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2022.40

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