Factors That Influence Time to Operating Room for Geriatric Hip Fractures: A Quality Improvement Initiative

Open AccessPublished:April 26, 2022DOI:



      For geriatric hip fractures, the current American College of Surgeons guideline recommends surgery within 48 hours. We sought to identify which factors delayed a patient’s progression to definitive surgery at 2 associated level II trauma centers using chart abstraction.


      We reviewed all geriatric patients who underwent a surgical procedure for a hip fracture. Data regarding age, length of stay, procedure, and minutes from emergency department arrival to operating room (OR) were evaluated. Chart abstraction determined if cardiac or medical clearance and an echocardiogram were obtained. For patients that entered the OR over 24 hours, a reason was identified for the delay. Analysis of variance was used to compare continuous data, and chi-squared tests were used for categorical data.


      Of 477 patients, 288 (60%) presented to the OR in under 24 hours, 114 (24%) between 24 and 36 hours, and 75 (16%) over 36 hours. There was a significant increase in length of stay for patients, over 36 hours. Patients presenting to the OR between 24 and 36 hours were often delayed due to facility reasons such as OR or surgeon availability while patients presenting over 36 hours were delayed due to medical comorbidities. Of all patients in the under-24-hours group, 34.7% had an echocardiogram compared with 56.1% and 69.3%, respectively. Similarly, 17.7% of patients received cardiac clearance in the under-24-hours group, compared with 31.8% and 48%, respectively.


      The timeliness of presentation of hip fractures to the OR is a multidisciplinary effort and requires cooperation between a variety of services to increase safety and efficiency as well as to control costs.


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