A standardized clinical pathway for hip fracture patients is associated with reduced mortality: data from the Norwegian Hip Fracture Register
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonEuropean Geriatric Medicine. 2023, 14, 557-564. 10.1007/s41999-023-00788-9
Purpose: A standardized clinical pathway is recommended for hip fracture patients. We aimed to survey standardization of treatment in Norwegian hospitals and to investigate whether this affected 30-day mortality and quality of life after hip fracture surgery. Methods: Based on the national guidelines for interdisciplinary treatment of hip fractures, nine criteria for a standardized clinical pathway were identified. A questionnaire was sent to all Norwegian hospitals treating hip fractures in 2020 to survey compliance with these criteria. A standardized clinical pathway was defined as a minimum of eight criteria fulfilled. Thirty-day mortality for patients treated in hospitals with and without a standardized clinical pathway was compared using data in the Norwegian Hip Fracture Register (NHFR). Results: 29 out of 43 hospitals (67%) answered the questionnaire. Of these, 20 hospitals (69%) had a standardized clinical pathway. Compared to these hospitals, there was a significantly higher 30-day mortality in hospitals without a standardized clinical pathway in the period 2016–2020 (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.04–1.23; p = 0.005). 4 months postoperatively, patients treated in hospitals with a standardized clinical pathway and patients treated in hospitals without a standardized clinical pathway reported an EQ-5D index score of 0.58 and 0.57 respectively (p = 0.038). Significantly more patients treated in hospitals with a standardized clinical pathway were 4 months postoperatively able to perform usual activities (29% vs 27%) and self-care (55% vs 52%) compared to hospitals without a standardized clinical pathway. Conclusion: A standardized clinical pathway for hip fracture patients was associated with reduced 30-day mortality, but no clinically important difference in quality of life compared to a non-standardized clinical pathway.