Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Apr 12, 2021 - Weiss Memorial Hospital has achieved Level Three Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA), the first community hospital to do so in the City of Chicago and the second of all hospitals in the city. It is estimated that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, increasing the overall demand for geriatric healthcare; in particular, about 20 million of them visit emergency departments every year. As a neighbor to many senior-living facilities in the North Side, Weiss regularly treats geriatric patients, and the accreditation specifically benefits this population.
The GEDA program, which American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) launched in 2018, aims to improve and standardize emergency care for the nation’s elderly. The program promotes the goal of providing quality care to elderly patients through enhanced staffing, innovation and education, and geriatric-focused policies and protocols, including but not limited to the transitions of care, quality improvement and outcomes, and more efficient preparation of the treatment area.
“Since we see many geriatric patients from surrounding nursing homes and senior-care centers, it is vital that they have an optimal emergency department experience,” said Dr. Diane Hsu, Medical Director of the Emergency Department. “Long before the accreditation, strong efforts had been in place in the ED to meet the particular needs of seniors, like having slip-proof flooring, reading glasses, and nutrient-rich food available.”
The voluntary accreditation includes three levels, similar to trauma designations, with specific criteria and goals for clinicians and administrators. To achieve the accreditation, the participating emergency department must meet specific requirements: (1) ensuring at least one physician and one nurse are on staff with specialized geriatric training, (2) meeting environmental criteria such as easy patient access to water and mobility aids, and (3) having a geriatric quality improvement program.
Additional Senior Benefit Programs & Recognition: The hospital has also recently been recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System Program Participant by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), which focuses on seniors’ priorities while they are in the hospital, such as mobility, mentation, and other facets of care related to this age group. As the program progresses, Weiss will be supplying patient data to IHI over the next three months to achieve even further accreditation. Lastly, Weiss hosts the Weiss Initiative Supporting Elders (WISE), a free wellness program for adults aged 60 and older, at their community center. WISE includes lectures, fitness and group activities, support groups, and lounge space reserved for their use.
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, fall, delirium, frailty, and death. Research estimates that 60% of Medicare patients admitted to hospitals arrive through emergency departments.
For more information about Weiss Memorial Hospital, visit: https://www.weisshospital.com/. For any media inquiries, please contact Samantha Frontera at: email@example.com or at: (847) 703-0529.
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Weiss Memorial Hospital