Dallas Regional Medical Center (DRMC) takes senior emergency care to the next level in the Mesquite area by announcing they are now accredited as a Geriatric Emergency Department by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). DRMC is the only hospital in Dallas County with this accreditation, which recognizes that the hospital is focused on the highest standards of care for older adults in our communities.
The Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (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.
“Prime Healthcare is focused on ensuring seniors have the best experience possible when coming to our hospitals, so GEDA was the logical next step for Dallas Regional Medical Center,” said Anne Xenos, Corporate Director of Senior Care for Prime Healthcare. “We are committed to being leaders in the healthcare community with our senior focused service line.”
The voluntary GEDA program provides specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators to target. In order to receive accreditation, an emergency department must incorporate a number of best practices for geriatric care, along with inter-disciplinary geriatric education, and have geriatric-appropriate equipment and supplies available. Some of this equipment includes easy-to-read clocks, large print documents, skid-proof footwear, extra seating for family members, and complimentary reading glasses.
Some of the best practices embraced by the geriatric emergency departments include:
• Ensuring geriatric-focused education and interdisciplinary staffing
• Providing standardized approaches to care that address common geriatric issues
• Ensuring optimal transitions of care from the ED to other settings (inpatient, home, community based care, rehabilitation, long-term care)
• Promoting geriatric-focused quality improvement and enhancements of the physical environment and supplies
“Seniors are such an important group of people in our society, and we want to make sure we’re meeting their needs,” said Glenda Matchett, RN, BSN, MHA, Chief Executive Officer of DRMC. “Becoming an accredited geriatric emergency department shows we are continuing to identify and respond to the needs of our patients and community members.”
This accreditation is the newest component of the DRMC Senior Care Services program. The program focuses on providing specialized care to senior patients, as well as offering numerous community outreach opportunities. These opportunities include a monthly lunch and learn series, monthly events at Town East Mall (e.g. Coffee with a Doc, free health screenings), and sponsorship of the Silver Steppers Mall Walker Program. All community events are currently on hold due to COVID-19 outbreak.
“Our Senior Care Services program goes beyond just providing medical treatment, it’s also about providing care for the mind,” stated Matchett. “All of our senior events are focused on education because we want people to understand how to live a healthier life.”
In addition to GEDA, DRMC is a recipient of back-to-back Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Awards, a Hospital Safety Grade of “A” for the past three review periods, and nine Healthgrades FiveStar ratings over the past year. DRMC is also a designated trauma center, accredited chest pain center, and primary stroke center.
Visit the GEDA website for accreditation criteria.