Senior citizens utilize the hospital system at higher rates than non-seniors and they often require treatment for multiple chronic conditions. While seniors make contact with the healthcare system at many different points of care, the place where they most often receive their care is in the Emergency Department.
Understanding the special needs of its geriatric patients, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Emergency Department has made many special accommodations to treat them. In recognition of their efforts, the hospital recently received a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Jamaica Hospital is the only hospital in Queens to receive this accreditation.
“By receiving this designation, Jamaica Hospital has demonstrated a commitment to addressing the specific healthcare needs of our older patients,” stated Dr. Shi-Wen Lee, Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Jamaica Hospital.
To achieve this accreditation, Jamaica Hospital had to meet many criteria, including ensuring that physician and nursing staff receive focused education in geriatric emergency medicine. This training is aimed to help providers better understand and address the complex social and physical challenges of the geriatric patient.
In addition to receiving focused education, the hospital also needed to implement geriatric emergency care policies and guidelines, ensure geriatric patients received access to specific equipment and supplies, and even make accommodations to the emergency department’s physical environment.
According to Dr. Nathan Washburn, ER attending integrally involved in the accreditation process, “The process to achieve this designation was not an easy one; it required hard work and dedication by many, but ultimately we feel that it displays a commitment to elevating the level of care we provide to our geriatric patients.”
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