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Hospitals' motivations in establishing or closing geriatric evaluation management units: diffusion of a new patient-care technology in a changing health care environment

Hospitals' motivations in establishing or closing geriatric evaluation management units: diffusion of a new patient-care technology in a changing health care environment

Journal of Gerontology 48(3): M78-M83

Although Geriatric Evaluation Management Units (GEMs) are beneficial to patients, they are still new and their adoption by hospitals is unknown. This study describes the adoption of GEMs in a large sample of hospitals, and explores the reasons underlying hospitals' decisions to open (and sometimes close) an inpatient GEM. A nationwide mail survey was conducted of 3,655 hospitals. The survey asked whether the hospital had an operating GEM, had a GEM that closed, had considered opening a GEM (but had not done so), or had not considered opening a GEM. The survey also requested specific information about operating or closed GEMs. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, t-tests, one-way analysis of variance, and Tukey's standardized range test for multiple comparison of means were used to analyze the responses. Among the 1,639 responding hospitals, 159 had established GEMs, 200 were evaluating the possibility of opening a GEM, and 1,263 had neither opened nor considered opening a GEM. Adopters were more likely to be large, urban, teaching hospitals. Evaluators were more optimistic than adopters about GEM's potential to meet financial goals. GEMs that closed tended to be located in hospitals experiencing budget deficits. Among adopters, space and nonphysician staffing were the most critical barriers to establishing a GEM whereas, for evaluators, identifying reimbursement sources and physician staffing were the greatest barriers. VA GEMs are smaller and initiated for different reasons than non-VA hospital GEMs. Despite their demonstrated usefulness, the adoption of GEMs has been limited. The reasons underlying decisions to adopt this new technology or close a GEM are often related to financial, not clinical concerns.

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Accession: 046274579

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8482815

DOI: 10.1093/geronj/48.3.M78

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