System Spotlight: Prime Healthcare

Heather Wojtarowicz

GEDC’s System Spotlight Series shares the great work that member organizations are doing in the field of geriatric emergency medicine.

Through the pursuit of GEDA accreditation, implementation of meaningful QI initiatives, and provision of educational resources for clinicians, health systems that take advantage of GEDC membership are setting the standard for outstanding geriatric emergency medicine.


System Spotlight: Prime Healthcare


Prime Healthcare stands as the fifth-largest for-profit health system in the United States, overseeing 44 hospitals across 14 states, alongside more than 300 outpatient facilities. With a workforce exceeding 45,000 employees and affiliated physicians, their dedicated team is committed to delivering superior, value-based healthcare services. Notably, 14 Prime Healthcare hospitals are part of the Prime Healthcare Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity. Guided by core values of quality, compassion, community, and physician-led leadership, Prime Healthcare upholds rigorous standards of excellence. Their unwavering focus on quality and value-based care underscores their commitment to fostering a healthier and more equitable future for their employees and the communities they serve.


As demographics change and community needs shift, healthcare systems are recognizing the importance of meeting the unique needs of the growing older adult community. Viewing the emergency department as the front door of the hospital, Prime Healthcare has implemented system-wide initiatives to serve older adult patients.


Prime Healthcare, a for-profit healthcare system located in 14 states across the U.S., prioritizes quality improvement initiatives in its emergency departments to better serve older adults by allowing them to recover in their homes when possible. To keep older adult patients in their homes, the healthcare system equips families and patients with the knowledge they need to facilitate the transition home from the hospital.


“These endeavors position us as a safety net for older adults residing in the community rather than in extended care facilities, providing the necessary support systems for their successful transition to home life,” said Kim Chalmers, supervisor of senior care for St. Joseph Medical Center, a member hospital of Prime Healthcare located in Kansas City, Missouri. “By identifying their specific needs and arranging consultations for therapies and other ancillary services before leaving the hospital, we enhance the likelihood of favorable outcomes, enabling individuals to reside securely and comfortably in their homes.”


Serving as a layer of support for older adults who visit the emergency department arises from Prime Healthcare’s mission to deliver compassionate, quality care to all patients. It’s also why the system has prioritized Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation for its emergency departments.


“We are incredibly proud of Prime Healthcare being one of the top health systems in the nation to be recognized for Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation,” said Sunny Bhatia, MD, Prime Healthcare President and Chief Medical Officer. “Prime continues to be focused on the highest standards of care for our community’s older citizens across the nation.”


According to representatives from Prime Healthcare, communities have shown an “amazing reaction” to the system’s dedication to older adult care.


“Our seniors deserve that VIP treatment,” Chalmers said.

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