The Confusion Assessment Method in action: Implementation of a protocol to increase delirium screening and diagnosis

Geriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)

Geriatr Nurs. 2023 Sep 11;54:32-36. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2023.08.019. Online ahead of print.


The use of the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) for delirium assessment in real-life can be inconsistent. We examined the impact of a protocol on delirium screening and detection in hospitalized older adults using the CAM. We analyzed data from 32,338 admissions to a quaternary hospital between 2018 and 2022. We assessed the percentage of admissions screened for delirium, adherence to daily screening, positive screening, and overlap with ICD-10 coding. The percentage of admissions screened for delirium increased from 74% in 2018 to 98.7% in 2022. Adherence to daily screening was achieved in 24.5% of admissions, and the percentage of positive screenings fluctuated between 8.4% and 11.5%. Among the admissions with a delirium-related ICD-10 code, 32% had a positive screening, 62% were negative, and 6% remained unscreened. While implementing a protocol increased the proportion of admissions screened for delirium, adherence to daily screening and consistency of positive delirium screenings remain areas for improvement.

PMID:37703687 | DOI:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2023.08.019