Hackensack University Medical Center Emergency & Trauma Center Receives Level 1 Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) Program

August 27, 2019

The Emergency Department at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center recently received Level 1 accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) program. Hackensack University Medical Center’s Emergency & Trauma Center is now one of only 10 sites in the United States that has received GEDA’s Level 1 designation, which is the highest-level recognition awarded through the program.

“This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing specialized emergency care for older adults in our community,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, regional president, Northern Market, chief research officer, Hackensack Meridian Health“Our Emergency & Trauma Center team members are proud to be among the nation’s leaders in providing pioneering geriatric emergency care.”

Hackensack University Medical Center’s Emergency Department is one of 85 sites in the United States to be accredited through the GEDA program. The voluntary GEDA program includes three levels, with Level 1 representing the highest designation. The ACEP launched the program with support from the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and the John A. Hartford Foundation to recognize emergency departments that provide excellent care for older adults.

“Achieving Level 1 GEDA status is a significant milestone for our Emergency & Trauma Center,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center, executive vice president, Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. “This gold-standard accreditation recognizes the efforts of our Emergency Department team members, who combine their training and experience with advanced technology to address common and complex geriatric issues while providing compassionate patient care.”

The GEDA program provides a framework of specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators to target, including more than two dozen best practices. To achieve Level 1 GEDA status, Hackensack University Medical Center’s Emergency & Trauma Center was required to demonstrate that it complies with many of the GEDA best practices, such as using geriatric-friendly equipment, providing specialized interdisciplinary training for team members, and performing routine screenings for delirium, dementia, fall risk and other vulnerabilities.

“Our participation in the GEDA program is important because it gives our team a framework through which we can assess the geriatric emergency care we already provide and develop new geriatric-focused quality improvement initiatives,” said Joseph Underwood, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. “Although this accreditation signifies that our Emergency Department is among the nation’s leaders in geriatric emergency care, our team is always looking for innovative ways to improve outcomes for older adults.”