Eisenhower Earns Prestigious Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation

After many months of work and a successful survey, Eisenhower Health has earned accreditation as a Geriatric Emergency Department from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). This accreditation has only been granted to six percent of hospitals in the United States. 

It is estimated that 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 in the U.S. every day. This national demographic shift and the local large population of retirees who call the Coachella Valley home seasonally and year-round brings challenges to health care systems like Eisenhower Health. These older adults visit emergency departments (EDs) at comparatively higher rates than non-seniors, often present with multiple chronic conditions, are at increased risk of polypharmacy, and suffer from complex social and physical challenges. Seniors make contact with the health care system at many points – perhaps none as frequently or as importantly as the emergency department.

The concept of a geriatric emergency department has developed in the past decade as hospitals recognize that one size ED care does not fit all. At the core of this effort from ACEP is a recognition that medical emergencies can present differently in the elderly population, and that optimal care for patients when at their most vulnerable (in the ED) requires careful consideration of the medical and non-medical factors that could impact that patient’s short- and long-term well-being.

The following criteria were evaluated and are the basis for the accreditation:

  • Developing policies and procedures with specific emphasis and customization for patients age 65+
  • Implementation of clinical and operational protocols to optimally care for patients age 65+
  • Geriatric-focused quality improvement and associated analytics
  • Physician and nurse education emphasizing the diagnosis, treatment, and care of older adults 
  • Ensuring optimal transitions of care from the ED to other settings
  • Improving emergency department throughput
  • Implementing a multi-disciplinary approach to holistic care (MD, RN, PT, Pharmacy, CM, etc.)
  • Maintaining a safe physical space and appropriate supplies

“I’m grateful to our physician and nursing leadership for all their hard work in attaining this prestigious designation for Eisenhower,” says Marty Massiello, President and CEO.

This accreditation comes on the heels of two stroke-related recognitions that Eisenhower Health recently earned: Advanced Primary Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission and Get with the Guidelines - Stroke recognition (Gold Plus Level) from the American Heart Association. 

“Many thanks to our wonderful multidisciplinary teams who work together to ensure our patients receive life-saving diagnosis and treatment of stroke. All three of these designations reflect our commitment to our senior population who seek care here at Eisenhower and are a wonderful reminder of our true north: ideal patient care,” adds Massiello.