AdventHealth Hendersonville recently announced the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) for its Emergency Department. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) awarded the AdventHealth Hendersonville ER team, which includes Wake Forest Baptist Health board-certified physicians, the bronze standard – Level 3 GEDA.
“Our promise to keep patients safe tops our list of service standards. With the number of older patients coming to our emergency department increasing, we set out to earn this accreditation to make sure they know their safety is our priority,” said AdventHealth Chief Nursing Officer, Roland Joy, MSN, BSBA, RN. “This is also part of the Age-Friendly Initiative we launched at all of our AdventHealth care sites in Western North Carolina.”
The geriatric population is the fastest growing population segment in the country. That trend is echoed in Western North Carolina.
“In 2015, the 65 and older population represented 20% of our ED visits and in 2019 this had increased to 25% of our ED visits,” said Byron Dixon, MD, CHCQM-PHYADV, AdventHealth Hendersonville Emergency Department Medical Director.
Some of the Age-Friendly updates AdventHealth made to the Emergency Department include specific education for nursing and medical staff in the Emergency Department, adding a multi-disciplinary team to support geriatric care. This team is made up of patient navigators, social workers, pharmacy technicians and physical therapists. The care teams also make sure they assess each geriatric patient for elder abuse, delirium, dementia, and falls.
AdventHealth made some design adjustments to increase the comfort for these patients such as comfort height commodes, handrails, dimmable lighting, hush curtains, and specific paint colors.
“This age group has spent many years serving our community and it’s only fitting that we serve them with exceptional health care targeted at their specific needs all while keeping them safe,” said Dr. Dixon. “Our ED team is committed to delivering exceptional emergency care and to providing whole care for our whole community.”
The Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) program is an ACEP-governed national accreditation organization which strives to improve the care of older people presenting to the Emergency Department. This accreditation system promotes the goals quality of care for older people: enhanced staffing and education; geriatric-focused policies and protocols including transitions of care; quality improvement and metrics; and optimal preparation of the physical environment.