Electronic rapid fitness assessment: A novel tool for preoperative evaluation of the geriatric oncology patient
Background: The American College of Surgeons and American Geriatrics Society recommend performing a geriatric assessment (GA) in the preoperative evaluation of older patients. To address this, we developed an electronic GA, the Electronic Rapid Fitness Assessment (eRFA). We reviewed the feasibility and clinical utility of the eRFA in the preoperative evaluation of geriatric patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of our experience using the eRFA in the preoperative assessment of geriatric patients. The rate and time to completion of the eRFA were recorded. The first 50 patients who completed the assessment were asked additional questions to assess their satisfaction. Descriptive statistics of patient-reported geriatric-related data were used for analysis. Results: In 2015, 636 older patients with cancer (median age, 80 years) completed the eRFA during preoperative evaluation. The median time to completion was 11 minutes (95% CI, 11-12 minutes). Only 13% of patients needed someone else to complete the assessment for them. Of the first 50 patients, 88% (95% CI, 75%-95%) responded that answering questions using the eRFA was easy. Geriatric syndromes were commonly identified through the performance of the GA: 16% of patients had a positive screening for cognitive impairment, 22% (95% CI, 19%-26%) needed a cane to ambulate, and 26% (95% CI, 23%-30%) had fallen at least once during the previous year. Conclusions: Implementation of the eRFA was feasible. The eRFA identified relevant geriatric syndromes in the preoperative setting that, if addressed, could lead to improved outcomes.