OAK PARK, Ill., December 1, 2020 (Newswire.com) – West Suburban Medical Center becomes the first community hospital in Illinois to achieve Level Three Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA). An estimated 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, increasing the demand for geriatric healthcare. The nation’s emergency departments are on the front lines of providing care to an aging population with an estimated 20 million people 65 and older visiting emergency departments each year.
Geriatric EDs focus on optimal transitions from emergency care to other settings such as inpatient hospitalizations, home, rehabilitation, and long-term care. The GEDA program, which ACEP launched in 2018, aims to improve and standardize emergency care for the nation’s older adults. The program promotes the goals of providing quality care for older adult patients, including enhanced staffing and education and geriatric-focused policies and protocols, such as transitions of care, quality improvement and outcomes, and more efficient preparation of the treatment area.
“Being elderly is one of the biggest risk factors for complications from COVID, as we learned during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring,” said David Anthony, MD, MPH, Chair and Medical Director of the West Suburban Medical Center Emergency Department. “And with the exponential rise in COVID cases that we are seeing now, many of which are in our geriatric population, we wanted to continue to ensure that we provide exceptional, evidence-based care to all of our patients, including our elderly community members.”
The voluntary accreditation includes three levels, similar to trauma designations, with specific criteria and goals for clinicians and administrators. Requirements begin with demonstrating that the participating emergency department (1) includes both a physician and nurse with specialized geriatric training on staff, (2) meets environmental criteria such as easy patient access to water and mobility aids, and (3) has a geriatric quality improvement program.
There is an overall aging population in the United States and the average age of patients presented to the emergency department is increasing. For an older patient, hospitalization comes with an increased risk of infection, falls, delirium, frailty, and death. Research shows that an estimated 60 percent of Medicare patients admitted to the hospital arrive through the emergency department. The goal of West Suburban Medical Center’s Geriatric ED is to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations of older patients and prevent re-admissions.
“We are proud to be the first community hospital in Illinois to receive Level Three Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation, an achievement that highlights our commitment at West Suburban to addressing the unique challenges involved in caring for the elderly patient population,” said Dr. Anthony. “My hope is that we serve as an example for other community hospitals in the Chicago area to show them that focusing on the geriatric population and pursuing the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation is something that is achievable and beneficial to our patients.”
For more information about West Suburban Medical Center, visit: https://www.westsuburbanmc.com/about-us/. For any media inquiries, please contact Samantha Frontera at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at: (847) 703-0529.
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Source: Pipeline Health