The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

The Hospitalized Older Adult


The Hospitalized Older Adult

Emory University School of Medicine
Ugochi Ohuabunwa, MD, Jonathan Flacker, MD
Geriatric Education Center (GEC)
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
John A. Hartford Foundation
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

Older adults are exposed to multiple hazards during hospitalization resulting in multiple complications that limit their return to their functional and cognitive baseline. It is critical that healthcare providers are trained on best practices in the care of hospitalized older adults. This product is a monthlong module for M4 students during their Sub I rotation, that focuses on educating them on the hazards of hospitalization, best practices in the care of hospitalized older adults, issues that occur during transitions of care and best practices to ensure optimal transitions across care settings. The module starts with an initial lecture on hazards of hospitalization and best practices in the care of older adults. This is followed by assignments in which students are assigned older aduts to care for. Using a checklist, they evaluate the care that these patients have received and also implement best practices in the care of their patient. They also participate in an interdisciplinary team meeting that focuses on these aspects of care.  This is followed by another assignment in which they are involved in deciding on the most appropriate discharge care setting their patient. They subsequently place a post discharge call to their patient to identify any issues thay may have encountered post discharge and assist them in resolving some of these issues. Through the month, students share their experiences on blackboard, outlining hazards they identified in their patients,  challenges in implementing best practices, choice of discharge care setting and reasons for their choices along with care transitions issues identified in their patients. Additionally they are required to review educational materials and published articles posted on blackboard, focused on hazards of hospitalization, best practices in care, settings of care and transitions of care.  A final class is held with the students at the end of the month discussing the rotation and their experiences, with a focus on settings of care and best practices in transitions of care.

Educational objectives: 

At the end of this course, each participant will be able to:

1. Describe the hazards of hospitalization of older adults.

2. Evaluate the care and implement best practices in the management of a hospitalized older adult.

3. Enumerate the discharge options available in a particular case scenario.

4. Compare and contrast the problematic elements of care transition with those of an ideal care transition.

Intended learner audience: 
Learning resource types: 
Estimated time to complete: 
More than 3 hours
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: 
No, I (we) have nothing to disclose.
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Ugochi Ohuabunwa, MD uohuab2@emory.eedu

Suggested Citation:
The Hospitalized Older Adult. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2016 Available from: