Geriatric Surgery Verification Pilot   

Hackensack University Medical Center Participates in ACS Geriatric Surgery Verification

Quality improvement program supports optimal care and best outcomes for geriatric surgery patients

Geriatric Surgery Verification

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center has attained Commitment Level status in the American College of Surgeons Geriatric Surgery Verification (GSV) Program in preparation for its 2022 application for GSV Level 1 status.

Created in July 2019, the Geriatric Surgery Verification program is a quality improvement program that provides a framework for the delivery of optimal care and achievement of the best outcomes for geriatric patients undergoing surgery. Hackensack University Medical Center is among only 17 hospitals in the nation to participate in this initiative.

“As a verified geriatric surgery facility, the surgical care team at Hackensack University Medical Center is implementing the program standards to continuously make the most effective use of surgical care for a vulnerable aging population,” said Lisa K. Tank, M.D., Assistant Professor at Hackensack University Medical Center, who is board-certified in geriatrics, and internal medicine. “By assessing preoperative risks, we are able to provide anticipatory care that is tailored to older adults to help them meet their individual goals of surgery as well as go home faster.”

Hackensack University Medical Center started the journey for this verification in January 2021 with Electronic Health Record optimization to improve clinical productivity, efficiency and create protocols establishing adequate resources. The Medical Center had its first interdisciplinary patient conference and recruitment of patients for this program in November 2022 with six patients in the program having already undergone surgery.

Through the verification program, the medical center is fortifying its geriatric surgical care systems to achieve surgical excellence using:

  • Geriatric vulnerability screens
  • Management plan for vulnerabilities
  • Interdisciplinary input for high-risk elective surgery
  • Process for flagging and reviewing high-risk medications
  • Geriatric interdisciplinary management for high-risk patients

"Older patients account for 40 percent of hospital inpatient surgical procedures and 30 percent of outpatient procedures. With the graying of the population, those numbers will continue to grow," explained Manisha S. Parulekar, M.D., Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Practices to support older surgical patients at Hackensack University Medical Center include a preoperative evaluation by a geriatric provider trained to evaluate specific needs, such as those related to pain relief, cognitive skills, nutrition, with results addressed preoperatively and throughout the hospital stay by a multidisciplinary team. Tailored care can include nurse-led initiatives to get patients out of bed soon to preserve muscle strength; ensuring hearing aids, dentures and glasses are returned immediately after surgery; diverse pain management options; and proactive discharge planning.

The Geriatric Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program anticipated outcomes include: implementation of evidence-based standards; strengthened interdisciplinary care and communication; improved implementation of protocol-based care; improved clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction; and better results in any payment/incentive models.

Learn more about innovative geriatric care at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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