Geriatric Emergency Departments as Laboratories for Innovation

Volume 4 | Issue 1 | Article 4 - Collective Wisdom Editorial

Brian W. Patterson, MD, MPH, Manish Shah, MD, MPH
Full Text

The following manuscript is an Editorial to accompany this published JGEM article

Increasing numbers of emergency department (ED) visits are being made by older adults. Unfortunately, there is widespread recognition that current ED systems are poorly designed to serve this population’s unique needs, both in terms of addressing acute illnesses and injuries and managing complex medical and psychosocial issues. One strategy to address these needs is to create geriatric EDs with a specific focus on caring for older adults. To this end, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) created the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) Program, accrediting institutions as Geriatric EDs (GEDs) based on their ability to assess and intervene to improve geriatric emergency care by meeting certain criteria. During accreditation, EDs apply to become level 1, 2, or 3 facilities based on resources available and policies and processes in place to adhere to best practices in geriatric emergency care. To achieve level 1 status, GEDs must have protocols or policies for 20 of the 27 GED guidelines, with 10 of the 27 being necessary for level 2 status. Furthermore, individual GEDs may specify how they address each individual policy or process.

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