More than 350,000 hip fractures occur in the United States every year, and the number will double by 2050 as baby boomers advance in age. Hip fractures remain one of the most common injuries of the geriatric cohort, where 9 of 10 patients with a hip fracture are 65 years of age or older and have multiple medical problems. A coordinated approach to care that emphasizes early ambulation, prevention of complications, and patient/family involvement is essential.
This article describes the efforts of a interdisciplinary team to develop and implement a hip fracture protocol that directs the care of patients from admission in the emergency room to a planned discharge. The ideal process of care is driven by quality measures and evidence-based practice consisting of early medical screening, early surgical intervention and ambulation, physical therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, and appropriate discharge planning.