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Keywords:

  • delirium;
  • dementia;
  • education;
  • nursing

Aim

A new model of care for the management of patients with delirium was developed and evaluated.

Method

A four-bedded Close Observation Unit (COU) was introduced. The model comprised education for assistants in nursing (AINs), environmental adaptations and AIN-to-patient ratio of 1:4. Outcomes in all patients with delirium before and after introduction of the new model of care were compared.

Results

One hundred and five patients were admitted to COU, of whom 100 (95%) were diagnosed with delirium. In-hospital mortality improved after introduction of the unit (15% vs 5%; P = 0.002) without significant change in length of stay, discharge destination or falls frequency.

Conclusion

A dedicated unit for delirium management within medicine achieved a reduction in mortality.