The Emergency Department at UNC Hillsborough has been officially recognized nationally as being a geriatrics friendly facility.
Populations around the World are living longer now than ever before and in the US it is estimated that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day. This demographic shift brings challenges to healthcare systems as older adults visit emergency departments (EDs) at comparatively higher rates than non-seniors, often present with multiple chronic conditions, are at increased risk of polypharmacy, and suffer from complex social and physical challenges. Seniors make contact with the health care system at many points – perhaps none as frequently or as importantly as the emergency department.
The concept of a geriatric emergency department has developed in the past decade as hospitals recognize that one size ED care does not fit all. Older people in the ED have presentations, needs, dispositions, and outcomes that are quite specific to them.
Geriatric EDs embrace a variety of best practices including:
- Ensuring geriatric-focused education and interdisciplinary staffing
- Providing standardized approaches to care that address common geriatric issues
- Ensuring optimal transitions of care from the ED to other settings (inpatient, home, community-based care, rehabilitation, long-term care)
- Promoting geriatric-focused quality improvement and enhancements of the physical environment and supplies
More information about this program can be found at: Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation // GEDA (acep.org)