Validation of the Elderly Risk Assessment Index in the Emergency Department

Nataly R. Espinoza Suarez, Laura E. Walker, Molly M. Jeffery, Jessica A. Stanich, Ronna L. Campbell, Christine M. Lohse, Paul Y. Takahashi, Fernanda Bellolio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The Elderly Risk Assessment (ERA) score is a validated index for primary care patients that predict hospitalizations, mortality, and Emergency Department (ED) visits. The score incorporates age, prior hospital days, marital status, and comorbidities. Our aim was to validate the ERA score in ED patients. Methods: Observational cohort study of patients age ≥ 60 presenting to an academic ED over a 1-year period. Regression analyses were performed for associations with outcomes (hospitalization, return visits and death). Medians, interquartile range (IQR), odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Results: The cohort included 27,397 visits among 18,607 patients. Median age 74 years (66–82), 48% were female and 59% were married. Patients from 54% of visits were admitted to the hospital, 16% returned to the ED within 30 days, and 18% died within one year. Higher ERA scores were associated with: hospital admission (score 10 [4–16] vs 5 [1–11], p < 0.0001), return visits (11 [5–17] vs 7 [2–13], p < 0.0001); and death within one year (14 [7–20] vs 6 [2–13], p < 0.0001). Patients with ERA score ≥ 16 were more likely to be admitted to the hospital, OR 2.14 (2.02–2.28, p < 0.0001), return within 30 days OR 1.99 (1.85–2.14), and to die within a year, OR 2.69 (2.54–2.85). Conclusion: The ERA score can be automatically calculated within the electronic health record and helps identify patients at increased risk of death, hospitalization and return ED visits. The ERA score can be applied to ED patients, and may help prognosticate the need for advanced care planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1445
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Aged
  • Delivery of healthcare
  • Elderly
  • Emergency Department
  • Emergency services
  • Healthcare use
  • Older adults
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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