Hackensack University Medical Center One of Only 11 Hospitals in U.S. Designated Level 1 Geriatrics Emergency Department

American College of Emergency Physicians Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation Recognizes Senior Emergency Care

When seniors turn to the Emergency Department (ED) for care, hospitals have a special opportunity to screen for a variety of health issues. Hackensack University Medical Center recognizes this opportunity, and employs education and technology to maximize the ED visit potential for meeting seniors’ immediate and long-term health needs.

For its dedication and success in customizing the emergency care experience for seniors, the center’s ED was one of only 11 hospitals in the country designated as a Level 1 Geriatrics Emergency Department by the American College of Emergency Physicians Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation program.

“As one of only 11 Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Departments worldwide, we lead by focusing on prevention of illness and injury. Our unique geriatric screening process identifies potential risks in the geriatric patient that could lead to future ED visits and hospitalizations. We collaborate with our geriatricians to prevent future ED visits and hospitalizations,” Douglas Finefrock, D.O., Vice-Chair, Emergency Trauma Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, said.

ED training initiatives help its teams tailor patient-centered senior care, including nursing communication training and the addition of geriatric education as an annual nursing education requirement. In ongoing ED physician education and residency conferences, the team is educated on the 4Ms evaluation model (Mentation, Medication, Mobility, What Matters).

The department also leverages technology, including the EMR, which facilitates geriatric evaluation and referral to geriatrics providers when appropriate based on the 4Ms. The EPIC platform allows physicians and clinical staff to set system-based reminders for screening around 4Ms, automate the referral process and establish best practices. The system also eases data tracking. Smart phrases and smart text helps reduce the documentation burden on providers and supports standardization of care for older adults.

The department culture is one of constant evolution. Monthly interdisciplinary quality improvement meetings between the geriatricians and ED physicians and other team members provide a regular platform to discuss care gaps, problem solve and innovate as a group.

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