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  • Wilkes-Barre General Hospital Launches Geriatric Emergency Department

    The accredited Geriatric Emergency Department
    at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is one of just three
    accreditation emergency departments in Pennsylvania –
    and the only one in Northeastern PA – to achieve
    accreditationfrom the American College of Emergency
    Physicians (ACEP).

    “We are dedicated to providing specialized emergency
    care to our aging population and are focused on
    providing the highest level of care for our patients, their
    families and our community,” said Cornelio Catena,
    CEO. “We are grateful to ACEP for recognizing the
    expertise of our staff and the healing environment we
    have created for our senior community members.”

    ACEP’s Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation
    (GEDA) program promotes the goals of quality care for
    older adult patients: enhanced staffing and education,
    geriatric-focused policies and protocols including
    transitions of care, quality improvement and outcomes,
    and preparation of the physical environment. ACEP
    launched this effort to improve and standardize
    emergency care for older patients and to recognize
    hospitals that meet and exceed national geriatric care
    guidelines.

    “Older adults visit emergency rooms at a higher rate,
    often present with multiple chronic conditions and
    face more social and physical challenges than the
    general population,” said Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP,
    past president of ACEP. “Seniors visiting ACEP accredited
    emergency departments can be assured that the
    facility has the necessary expertise, equipment and
    personnel in place to provide optimal care. This initiative
    enhances acute geriatric emergency care, especially in
    rural areas, and helps seniors ease back into their daily
    lives after they visit the ER.”

    The Geriatric ER is led by a remarkable team of
    inter-disciplinary leaders including Adam Perry, MD,
    Jill Cook, RN and Marianne Rupchis, RN, MSN. The
    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, developedand 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.

    The voluntary GEDA program, which includes three
    levels similar to trauma center designations, provides
    specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and
    administrators to target. The accreditation process
    provides more than two dozen best practices for geriatric
    care and the level of GEDA accreditation achieved
    depends upon how many of these best practices an
    emergency department is able to meet. A Level 3
    emergency department must incorporate many of
    these best practices, along with providing inter-disciplinary
    geriatric education, and having geriatric appropriate
    equipment and supplies available.

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