An Initiative to Improve Early Mobilization using Medical Student Education on a Geriatrics Inpatient Service

This new medical student quality improvement project aims to improve ambulation of hospitalized older adults. Hospitalized geriatric patients are at risk for physical deconditioning and functional decline due to prolonged bed rest. Hospitalized older adults can benefit both physically and psychologically from early mobilization.
Fourth year medical students on their 4-week required geriatrics rotation are trained in safe patient ambulation and assigned to educate and walk a patient. This educational program has been well received and showed student confidence in ambulating hospitalized older adults. Next steps include changes in student scheduling to increase student participation rates and number of patient walks and tracking impact on relevant geriatric patient outcomes such as length of stay and rate of discharge to skilled nursing facilities.

This project was selected for presentation during the Presidential Poster Session at the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society.