Introduction: Admission decisions in older patients are often difficult. Our objectives were to identify clinical predictors of appropriate admission for older patients who attend the emergency department (ED). Methods: Administrative data were gathered on all Calgary ED patients >75 years old who were treated during 2017. We considered the following events indicative of appropriate admission: an index hospitalization lasting >72 hours, the need for ICU or CCU care, and 30-day death or readmission. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association of the following potential predictors with appropriate admission: age, sex, EMS arrival, ILI symptoms, living situation (independent, homecare dependency or facility), acuity level, chief complaint, vital signs, need for IV fluid bolus ( >1Li), serum sodium, potassium, creatinine, hemoglobin, and advanced directive care level (comfort, medical, resuscitation, unspecified). Results: We studied 38866 older patients who were 55.9% female with a mean age of 84. Most (69%) lived independently, with 17% in a facility and 14% homecare dependent. Overall, 16,992 (43.7%) were admitted at their index visit and 17,340 had an outcome event, including index hospitalization >72 hours (N = 13,623, 35%), ICU care (352, 0.9%), CCU care (447, 1.2%), or 30-day death (2,241, 5.8%) or readmission (3,964 10.2%). Patients with appropriate admission events were more likely to have an advanced directive (80.7% v. 7.8%), triage hypoxia (30.5% v. 9.2%), EMS arrival (73% v. 48%), facility or homecare dependency (50% v. 15%), or to have a complaint of dyspnea (20.4% v. 8.6%), weakness (9.1% v. 3.8%) or altered mentation (8.8% v. 2.8%). Multivariable modeling showed that the strongest predictors of appropriate admission (adjusted odds ratio) were any advanced directive (OR = 30), need for IV bolus (OR = 1.67), homecare dependency (OR = 1.65), triage hypoxia (OR = 1.63), and a chief complaint of altered mentation (OR = 1.72), weakness (OR = 1.52) or dyspnea (OR = 1.25). Conclusion: The presence of an advanced care directive is strongly associated with appropriate admission in older ED patients. Other significant determinants include homecare dependency, EMS arrival, hypoxia or dyspnea, IV bolus and weakness or altered mentation. Age, sex, acuity, vital signs and laboratory findings were weak predictors.
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