Identification of Older Adult Fall Occurrence by Brief Emergency Department Triage Screen

McFadden GP, Hall SE, Gleason LJ, Herrera O, Hogan TM

Contributing GEDC Faculty

Teresita Hogan


Dr. Teresita Hogan is a Professor of Medicine and Director of Geriatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. Her clinical research interest are Geriatric EM, Quality Improvement, Emergency Pain Management, Emergency Management of Falls in Older Adults, and Models of Care. Dr. Hogan is the ACEP representative to the AGS and serves on the executive committee Section for Enhancing Geriatric Understanding and Expertise among Surgical and Medical Specialists. She is an expert in graduate medical education and led the expert consensus process to establish The Geriatric Competencies for Emergency Medicine Residents.

She has also worked on identifying the number and characteristics of geriatric emergency departments across the United States and is a member of the GEDA Board of Governors.


Annually, over 2.3 million older adults (OAs) present to US emergency departments (EDs) after experiencing a fall; many experience significant morbidity and mortality.12 Early identification of a fall‐related ED presentation optimizes the diagnosis and treatment of prefall medical conditions and postfall traumatic injuries, minimizes ED injury risk, and enables timely referrals to promote safer mobility following discharge.35 Current ED guidelines recommend screening for falls, mitigation of in‐hospital falls, and systematic referral to reduce future fall risk.6 However, screening for fall occurrence in OAs is uncommon.78 The goal of this study was to assess the ability of a two‐question triage screen combined with documented chief complaint to effectively identify the occurrence of fall in undifferentiated ED patients aged 65 years or older. We compared the sensitivity of the falls triage screen to other modalities, including algorithms based on diagnosis codes and chief complaint data.

Full Article at Wiley Online Library

Join the mailing list to get the latest GEDC updates in your inbox!