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An educational module to improve knowledge of delirium screening in the Emergency Department

Published:January 16, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2021.01.031
      Delirium, an acute condition characterized by reduced awareness, emotional disturbance, and mental confusion, is associated with increased morbidity and mortality [
      • Press Y.
      • Margulin T.
      • Grinshpun Y.
      • Kagan E.
      • Snir Y.
      • Berzak A.
      • et al.
      The diagnosis of delirium among elderly patients presenting to the emergency department of an acute hospital.
      ,
      • Inouye S.K.
      Delirium in older persons.
      ,
      • Kennedy M.
      • Enander R.A.
      • Tadiri S.P.
      • Wolfe R.E.
      • Shapiro N.I.
      • Marcantonio E.R.
      Delirium risk prediction, healthcare use and mortality of elderly adults in the emergency department.
      ]. In the emergency department (ED), delirium affects 7 to 10% of older adult patients but is overlooked in more than half of cases [
      • Kennedy M.
      • Enander R.A.
      • Tadiri S.P.
      • Wolfe R.E.
      • Shapiro N.I.
      • Marcantonio E.R.
      Delirium risk prediction, healthcare use and mortality of elderly adults in the emergency department.
      ]. Delirium screening tools have been created to improve detection in at-risk patients and seem promising. However, provider time constraints, insufficient training, and the lack of a universal diagnostic assessment tool inhibit widespread utilization [
      • LaMantia M.A.
      • Messina F.C.
      • Jhanji S.
      • Nazir A.
      • Maina M.
      • McGuire S.
      • et al.
      Emergency medical service, nursing, and physician providers’ perspectives on delirium identification and management.
      ]. By 2017, 20% of all ED visits in the United States were from those aged 60 and older [
      • Ashman J.J.
      • Schappert S.M.
      • Santo L.
      Emergency department visits among adults aged 60 and over: United States, 2014–2017.
      ]. Improving delirium detection and treatment in the ED may improve outcomes in a substantial patient population.
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