Risk Prediction: Using the Electronic Frailty Index in Scotland


We’re all aware of how important an issue frailty is, particularly the effect it has on a person’s quality of life.

Supporting people in the early stages of frailty could help them maintain independence and live healthier lives in their communities, time that would otherwise have been spent in hospital.

One of the ways Living Well in Communities are doing this is by looking at risk prediction tools to identify people at risk of frailty in the community. We can use these tools to help explore the types of support that would most benefit people.

Electronic Frailty Index

Our workshop in December 2015, involving experts across health, social care and data analytics, looked at the available risk prediction tools. We had great dialogue around what’s important for predictive tools and decided to test the electronic Frailty Index (eFI) in Scotland.

Unlike other prediction tools, it uses information outside of acute care to evaluate someone’s condition. It’s based on the cumulative deficit model of frailty, and uses GP read codes to analyse the number of ‘deficits’ an individual has, to score whether a person is Fit, Mildly Frail, Moderately Frail, or Severely Frail.

If you want to know more about eFI, you can watch the webinar below or read through the Age and Ageing paper that provides the evidence base for eFI in England.



We’re now testing how accurate the eFI is at predicting frailty using our systems. There are a number of practices across the country, including Glasgow City and West Dunbartonshire, who have already evaluated their registered population using the eFI.

It will be interesting to compare these results with the perspectives of those already caring for and supporting people in the community. And to see how they compare across the country.

Check back for more information as we begin validating the results with GP’s.

You can read more about our work in Frailty and Falls in the Community here.

This post was written by Nathan Devereux, Associate Improvement Advisor, Healthcare Improvement Scotland. 


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