ACE Model for Older Adults in ED

Martine Sanon, Ula Hwang, Gallane Abraham, Suzanne Goldhirsch, Lynne D. Richardson, and GEDI WISE Investigators

Contributing GEDC Faculty

Ula Hwang


Dr. Ula Hwang is the Medical Director for Geriatric Emergency Medicine at New York University and a core investigator at the GRECC (Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center) at the James J. Peters Bronx VAMC. Her research focuses on improving the quality of care older adults receive in the ED setting that ranges from observational studies of analgesic safety and effectiveness in older patients to multi-center implementation science studies of geriatric emergency care interventions. Hwang currently co-PIs the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative and is the PI on the Geriatric Emergency care Applied Research (GEAR) network.


The emergency department (ED) is uniquely positioned to improve care for older adults and affect patient outcome trajectories. The Mount Sinai Hospital ED cares for 15,000+ patients >65 years old annually. From 2012 to 2015, emergency care in a dedicated Geriatric Emergency Department (GED) replicated an Acute Care for Elderly (ACE) model, with focused assessments on common geriatric syndromes and daily comprehensive interdisciplinary team (IDT) meetings for high-risk patients. The IDT, comprised of an emergency physician, geriatrician, transitional care nurse (TCN) or geriatric nurse practitioner (NP), ED nurse, social worker (SW), pharmacist (RX), and physical therapist (PT), developed comprehensive care plans for vulnerable older adults at high risk for morbidity, ED revisit, functional decline, or potentially avoidable hospital admission. Patients were identified using the Identification of Seniors at Risk (ISAR) screen, followed by geriatric assessments to assist in the evaluation of elders in the ED. On average, 38 patients per day were evaluated by the IDT with approximately 30% of these patients formally discussed during IDT rounds. Input from the IDT about functional and cognitive, psychosocial, home safety, and pharmacological assessments influenced decisions on hospital admission, care transitions, access to community based resources, and medication management. This paper describes the role of a Geriatric Emergency Medicine interdisciplinary team as an innovative ACE model of care for older adults who present to the ED.

Full Article at MDPI Open Access Journals

Join the mailing list to get the latest GEDC updates in your inbox!