Impact of a system-wide multicomponent intervention on administrative diagnostic coding for delirium and other cognitive frailty syndromes: observational prospective study
Pendlebury ST., Lovett NG., Thomson RJ., Smith SC.
© Royal College of Physicians 2020. All rights reserved. BACKGROUND: We determined the impact of a system-wide multicomponent intervention to improve recognition and documentation of cognitive frailty syndromes on hospital administrative coding for delirium. METHODS: A multicomponent intervention including introduction of structured patient assessment including cognitive/delirium screen, regular audit/feedback and educational seminars was undertaken (2012-17). Sensitivity and specificity of administrative International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) delirium codes for the gold standard of prospectively clinically diagnosed delirium were calculated in consecutive patients admitted to acute medicine over five 8-week cycles (2010-18). RESULTS: Among 1,281 consecutive unselected admissions to acute medicine overall (mean / standard deviation age = 70.0/19.2 years; n=615 (48.0%) male), 320 had clinical delirium diagnosis (n=220 delirium only; n=100 delirium on dementia). Sensitivity of delirium coding increased from 12.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.6-26.7) in 2010 to 60.2% (95% CI 50.1-69.7; ptrend<0.0001) in 2018 while specificity remained at >99% throughout. CONCLUSION: A multicomponent intervention increased sensitivity of hospital administrative diagnostic coding for delirium almost six-fold without increasing the false positive diagnosis rate.