Temecula Valley Hospital is the first Universal Health Services, Inc., hospital in the country to achieve accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as a Geriatric Emergency Department.
The Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines states: "The purpose of the Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines is to provide a standardized set of guidelines that can effectively improve the care of the geriatric population and which is feasible to implement in the ED. These guidelines create a template for staffing, equipment, education, policies and procedures, follow-up care, and performance improvement measures.”
According to the 2010 Census, more than 40 million Americans were over the age of 65, which was “more people than in any previous census.” In addition, “between 2000 and 2010, the population 65 years and over grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population.” The census data also demonstrated that the population 85 and older is growing at a rate almost three times the general population. The subsequent increased need for healthcare for this burgeoning geriatric population represents an unprecedented and overwhelming challenge to the American healthcare system as a whole and to emergency departments (EDs) specifically.
“We are very proud to be the first hospital in the UHS portfolio to receive this Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA),” said Darlene Wetton, CEO of Temecula Valley Hospital. “Our community can trust the care that our Emergency Department staff provides to seniors in a time that they need it the most.”
According to ACEP, the GEDA program is the culmination of years of progress in the emergency care of older adults. 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 on how many of these best practices an emergency department is able to meet. Temecula Valley Hospital has achieved the Level 3 emergency department level and must incorporate many of these best practices, along with providing inter-disciplinary geriatric education and having geriatric appropriate equipment and supplies available.
Jacquelyn Horton, RN, and Director of Emergency Services for Temecula Valley Hospital said, “We have gone above and beyond the criteria to make sure we have a safe and healing environment for our patients who are 65 and older. We have specialized supplies, such as upgraded thicker mattresses throughout our entire Emergency Department, to improve patient healing and outcomes. Our staff cares deeply about making the best experience we can for our patients at Temecula Valley Hospital!”