Date of Graduation

Summer 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Natural Sciences - BS / MD Program

Research Sponsor

Dr. Jennifer Frey

First Reader

Dr. Scott Wilber

Second Reader

Dr. Mark Fridline


With a growing elderly population in the United States, the development of

efficient methods to ensure high-quality care for geriatric patients is more important than

ever. In the emergency department (ED), geriatric patients account for up to 24% of

stays. Many of these patients come to the ED for neuropsychiatric reasons and some are

admitted to geropsychiatric units. These patients require medical screening to identify

issues that may in part account for their mental state. The purpose of this study was to

characterize the patients who were admitted from the Summa Health System ED to

geropsychiatric units. It was hypothesized that more than 50% of geriatric patients

admitted to the psychiatric unit from the ED would have a prior medical history of

psychiatric disease and that less than 10% of these patients would have a new medical

condition identified in the psychiatric unit. Charts for study subjects were retrospectively

abstracted and analyzed to characterize the subjects. The first hypothesis was supported

with 56% of subjects having a previous history of psychiatric disease. The second

hypothesis was not supported as 82% of subjects had a new medical issue found in the

geropsychiatric unit.