Holy Cross Hospital has earned the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA). In an effort to improve and standardize emergency care for older patients, the ACEP launched its new program last May. Holy Cross is the first facility in South Florida to achieve the GEDA designation and one of only two facilities in the state of Florida.
“Seniors who arrive at the emergency department are often extremely vulnerable to further health complications and age-related challenges that don’t affect younger patients in the same way,” said Dr. John Cunha, Vice Chief of the Emergency Department at Holy Cross Hospital. “By undergoing the accreditation process, we ensure that we have the right equipment, expertise and personnel in place to provide the best care possible for older adults, which aligns with the hospital’s overall mission of being our community’s trusted healthcare partner for life.”
The goals of the GEDA program include enhanced staffing and education and geriatric-focused policies and protocols, including transitions of care, quality improvement and outcomes and more efficient preparation of the treatment area.
To achieve GEDA accreditation, clinicians and administrators needed to meet specific criteria and goals. Requirements began with demonstrating that the participating emergency department (1) includes both a physician and nurse with specialized geriatric training on staff, (2) meets environmental criteria such as easy patient access to water and mobility aids and (3) has a geriatric quality improvement program.
At Holy Cross, geriatric-focused doctors and nurses are provided with continuing education and social workers are present in the emergency department to help coordinate care for rehabilitation and home health services for older patients. Additionally, there is an increased focused on infection-prevention measures and improving patient flow.
For more information, visit ACEP.org/GEDA.
Updated May 2019