Winner, Eat Walk Engage: preventing delirium and improving hospital care for older Queenslanders
Delirium affects up to 30 percent of older inpatients. It leads to longer hospital stays, higher care needs, patient and family distress, future dementia, and costs Australia $8 billion every year. Delirium can be prevented through age-friendly principles including nutrition and hydration, mobility, social and cognitive activity, but these are challenging to consistently implement in practice. Eat Walk Engage is a clinically-led improvement program that focusses on older patients and empowers staff to put age-friendly principles into practice. The program improves team communication, care practices, patient experience and staff confidence.
The CHERISH cluster trial, supported by Metro North, with national and international collaborators, proves that Eat Walk Engage significantly reduces delirium and may reduce hospital stays, rehabilitation needs, and readmissions. Through advocacy, leadership and partnerships with local clinicians and managers, the Eat Walk Engage team have led successful scale-up of the program across the State, providing better care for thousands of older Queenslanders.
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