There is an increasing number of older patients visiting the Emergency Department (ED). Older patients are longer in the ED and have a greater chance of admission, which causes organizational problems. But older patients also have a greater chance of other undesirable outcomes, such as mortality or loss of function. They present themselves more often with atypical complaints, or with complaints that are specific to older people, such as falls or confusion. Therefore, it is a challenge for health care providers to provide optimal care for acutely presenting older patients.

The APOP screening program has been developed to identify older patients at highest risks of undesirable outcomes and to improve outcomes by providing extra care. The APOP program consists of a screening instrument, interventions in the ED for high risk patients, transfer of data to subsequent care providers on discharge or admission and training of health care providers.