This designation recognizes hospital emergency departments that provide excellent care for aging adults. Led by a team of interdisciplinary leaders, including David Saunders, MD, and Director of Emergency Services Cindy Hoggard, MBA/HCM, BSN, CEN, AdventHealth Redmond’s accreditation demonstrates the emergency department’s focus on the highest standards of care for older adults in Northwest Georgia.
The GEDA program is the culmination of years of progress in emergency care of older adults. In 2014, ACEP, along with Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Emergency Nurses Association and American Geriatrics Society, developed and released geriatric ED guidelines, recommending measures ranging from adding geriatric-friendly equipment to specialized staff to more routine screening for delirium, dementia and fall risk, among other vulnerabilities.
To achieve this accreditation, AdventHealth Redmond staff focused on standardizing approaches to care for commonly seen geriatric concerns. Dr. Saunders said geriatric patients who enter the emergency department are out of their own comfort zone or environment, and it’s critical for the care team to recognize and care for geriatric patients differently. This might include making sure patients are hydrated and fed, understanding their social environments and supports at home, helping the patients with mobility aids and fall prevention and conducting cognitive screenings for dementia or delirium.
“We've recognized that much of our population is fairly advanced in age in general so our focus as a department is taking care of our patients to the best of our ability by getting certified for the exceptional care that we already provide,” said Dr. Saunders.
The voluntary GEDA program, which includes three levels similar to trauma center designations, provides specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators to target. The accreditation process provides more than two dozen best practices for geriatric care, and the level of GEDA accreditation achieved depends upon how many of these best practices an emergency department is able to meet. A Level 3 emergency department incorporates many of these best practices, along with providing inter-disciplinary geriatric education, and having geriatric appropriate equipment and supplies available to care for older patients.
“We are incredibly proud of our team for becoming an Accredited Geriatric Emergency Department. This accreditation solidifies our ongoing commitment to serve all our patients with the utmost of care,” said Isaac Sendros, president and CEO of AdventHealth Redmond. “Our team delivers compassionate attention to the specialized care needs of our older population, as outlined by standardized best clinical practices.”