Senior Emergency Services in the ER at West Florida Hospital Provides a New Standard of Care for Geriatric Patients and Their Families
Older adults are at greater risk for cognitive and functional decline due to a combination of vulnerability, frailty and acute illness. Given the growth in the elderly population, changes in geriatric patient care will impact every level of health care delivery. By addressing those needs in the emergency setting, hospitals can dramatically improve the transition back to home or other health care setting, minimize emergency room 'bounce-back,' and better prepare caregivers for whatever is to come.
In addition to the focus on the senior population, the Emergency Department at West Florida Hospital is undergoing an overall renovation that, when complete, will have new flooring, finishes, and soothing colors that will help provide a comfortable atmosphere for patients and their family members.
Staff Specially Trained to Recognize and Treat Conditions Affecting Geriatric Patients
In response to the increased focus on senior patients, physicians and nurses at West Florida Hospital have created the region's first Senior Emergency Services in the ER at West Florida Hospital. This includes:
- Real-time or follow-up consultation available with Case Management
- Optimized communication with nursing homes, assisted living facilities and patient families
- Coordination of care with nursing home medical directors, administrative directors and primary care physicians
- State-of-the-art cardiac monitoring
Senior Emergency Services in the ER at West Florida Hospital Provides Comprehensive Health Assessments and Follow-Up Care.
The goal of Senior Emergency Services in the ER at West Florida Hospital is to meet the unique needs of each patient, not only in terms of the crisis that prompted the Emergency Department visit, but also in terms of his or her entire health care situation. This includes:
- Medication review for those who have experienced a fall, an acute mental status change, or those taking medications that might put an older adult at risk
- Further screening for geriatric syndromes such as depression, dementia, delirium or functional decline
- Involvement of Case Management to assist in support service community referrals
- Collaboration with family/caregiver to ensure older adult care needs are met
- Telephone follow-up with patient and/or caregiver to ensure safe transition back to home or other health care facility
Special Features Provide Comfort and Reduce Risk of Disorientation or Injury
Senior Emergency Services in the ER at West Florida Hospital is also configured with soft lighting, pressure reducing mattresses, visual and hearing assistive devices, large'print signage, and skid'resistant flooring. These features reduce confusion, disorientation, anxiety, and the risk of falls.