Purpose: The elderly care pathway from the public health emergency unit to the university hospital and back home needs rationalising. Another purpose is to utilise the information of the electronic patient record system in care coordination.
Theory: The processed knowledge from the electronic patient record system enables the geriatric professionals to deal with the information of the elderly care pathway effectively and to develop the care in a patient-centred way.
Methods: All the 75-year-old or older patients who had visited the emergency unit of Turku health care centre were analysed. The data were collected from the Pegasos® electronic patient record system. The method used was time-series analysis. Statistical analyses were run on SAS System for Windows, release 9.1.
Results: Twenty-three thousand-three hundred and seventy-two older patients visited the emergency unit and 25% of them were referred to hospital, less to the Turku city hospital, more to the university hospital. The information of transitions into the local organisations could be followed, but there were many information gaps in transitions to the university hospital.
Conclusion: Older people are cared for in the university hospital too often. The expensive care begins at the emergency unit and leads to the long-term institutional care. The care pathway of older patients has to be based on professional capability, co-operation and knowledge management.