Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center has received a Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). It is the first emergency center in Houston only the second in Texas to receive this accreditation.
“Our older adult population is growing faster and living longer and there is an enormous need to provide emergency services designed specifically for this segment of our community,” said Bentley J. Bobrow, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Memorial Hermann-TMC.
“Geriatric patients have unique medical conditions and require emergency services tailored to optimize their care and outcomes and we are excited to be leaders in this field,” said Dr. Bobrow, the John P. and Katherine G. McGovern Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and the Nancy, Clive and Pierce Runnells Distinguished Professorship in Emergency Medicine.
The population 65 years and older increased at a faster rate than the total United States population between 2000 and 2010, according to the 2010 United States Census. The census data also highlighted the population 85 and older is growing three times faster than the general population.
Geriatric emergency centers differentiate themselves from typical ERs with geriatric-friendly mobility equipment, specialized staff, more routine screening for delirium, dementia, and fall risk, among other vulnerabilities, and working with primary care physicians to coordinate post-emergency department care. At Memorial Hermann-TMC, a protocol was implemented to improve medication regimens of geriatric patients discharged from the ER to reduce the possibility of adverse effects.
“Improved attention to the needs of this often medically complicated population has the opportunity to more effectively allocate health care resources, optimize admission and readmission rates, while decreasing complications,” said Charles Maddow, MD, Director of Emergency Geriatrics at Memorial Hermann-TMC and the Wyatt Foundation Distinguished Professor in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at McGovern Medical School. “We have created an opportunity to care for geriatric patients in the environment most conducive to a positive outcome when they are in need of emergency care.”
The Emergency Medicine Team worked closely with the Department of Emergency Medicine at UTHealth and the UTHealth Consortium on Aging to learn more about geriatric related emergency care.
“This geriatric accredited emergency department fulfills the broad vision of the Consortium on Aging to support UTHealth programs and UTHealth affiliates in delivering the highest quality care to older adults,” said Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, an affiliated physician at Memorial Hermann-TMC and professor of geriatric and palliative medicine at McGovern Medical School and Executive Director of the UT Health Consortium on Aging.
The accreditation process provides more than two dozen best practices for geriatric care. A Level 3 geriatric ER must incorporate many of these best practices, along with providing inter-disciplinary geriatric education, and having geriatric appropriate equipment and supplies available.