Updated Clinical Standards in Australia reduce the Time to Surgery for the management of hip fracture patients

Updated Clinical Standards in Australia reduce the Time to Surgery for the management of hip fracture patients

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has unveiled an updated national clinical care standard for hip fractures. This revised standard reduces the recommended maximum time for surgery to 36 hours, down from 48 hours, aligning with international guidelines and covering patients who may need to be transferred for surgery.

Each year, about 19,000 Australians, mostly over 65 years old, suffer hip fractures, often leading to life-altering consequences. Hip fractures increase the risk of death, with one in four patients not surviving a year post-injury. Many survivors lose their independence and quality of life.

The updated standard aims to address these issues by emphasizing the need for prompt surgery, reducing pain, and facilitating recovery. It recognizes the vulnerability of older patients and the importance of timely intervention. The financial burden on the healthcare system, approximately $600 million annually, also highlights the urgency of improving hip fracture care.

While progress has been made since the introduction of the Hip Fracture Clinical Care Standard in 2016, there is still significant variation in surgery wait times, with some hospitals performing well below the recommended 36-hour threshold. The updated standard is expected to serve as a catalyst for change, setting expectations for consistent, high-quality hip fracture care and encouraging tailored treatments for individual patients.

“The Hip Fracture Clinical Care Standard sets expectations for how every patient should be cared for, while allowing for treatment to be tailored to the individual,” said Professor Jacqueline Close, Co-Chair of the ANZHFR and Co-Chair of the expert advisory group for the standard. She believes that the updated standard will be a lever of change to improve the care for hip fracture patients in Australia and thus improve the patient’s lives.

At FFN, we are pleased to announce the launch of this new Clinical Standard in Australia. Read more about this announcement here: https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/newsroom/latest-news/time-surgery-critical-survival-after-hip-fracture

Click the link to access the new clinical standard https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/standards/clinical-care-standards/hip-fracture-care-clinical-care-standard

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