Incorporating a Rapid Geriatric Assessment in Primary Care
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As patients age, the complexity of their care increases and the likelihood of developing geriatric syndromes becomes greater. Identification and documentation of geriatric syndromes can be a helpful first step to providing quality care. The goal of the quality improvement project was to assess documentation of frailty, sarcopenia, the risk for weight loss, and cognitive impairment before and after screening with the Rapid Geriatric Assessment (RGA) tool. Convenience sampling of participants took place at an Internal Medicine and Geriatric Clinic in Kansas City, Kansas. The charts were reviewed prior to the clinic visit for mention of frailty, sarcopenia, the risk for weight loss, and CI. After verbal consent, SH screened individuals with the RGA and shared the results with the physician before the visit. A repeat chart review following the visit determined if the identified geriatric syndromes were documented in the problem list or the clinic visit note. Ninety patients were screened with the RGA. The pre visit screening revealed only two patients with a diagnosis of either frailty, sarcopenia, or weight loss in the problem list or last provider note. After the intervention, 23 participants had documentation of either frailty, sarcopenia, the risk for weight loss, or CI in the problem list or the provider note. As the population of the United States ages, brief geriatric assessment tools such as the RGA may help primary care providers meet the needs of older patients without performing a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA).
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