ERS changing to serve more elderly patients

June 5, 2017

As the baby boomer generation ages, hospitals are beginning to see more older patients in their emergency departments and are changing to meet their needs, according to an article on the Kaiser Health News website.

Some facilities are creating a separate geriatric emergency room. They typically feature clinicians who are specially trained to diagnose and care for older people.

“(An emergency room) can be a a terrible place to be if you’re older,” said Dr. Corita Grudzen, an emergency physician at NYU Langone Medical Center, as older patients are more likely to develop hospital-acquired infections and delirium.

Some have sought to address these problems by creating separate, quieter emergency rooms for older patients. Others say bringing palliative care consultations into regular emergency rooms could reduce hospitalization, drive down costs and even extend life by reducing suffering.

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