Queen of the Valley Now an Accredited Senior-Friendly Emergency Department

May 11, 2020

The American College of Emergency Physicians recently recognized Queen of the Valley Medical Center for the excellent care the Gasser Emergency Department provides to older adults. The association awarded Queen of the Valley with the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation’s (GEDA) Bronze Standard Level 3.

The hospital was recognized for improving patient outcomes through standardized approaches for common issues and supporting senior-focused quality improvement. A Bronze Level 3 GEDA accreditation demonstrates The Queen’s emergency department incorporates many recommended best practices for age-friendly care, along with providing inter-disciplinary education. In addition, hospitals who attain this level of accreditation have appropriate supplies and equipment available, such as softer colors and lighting to ease agitation as well as gurneys that are lower to the ground to help prevent falls.

“As an emergency room doctor, I’ve had the pleasure of caring for older adults and working to improve their experience at our facility,” said Nicolas Lopez, M.D., emergency physician and Medical Director of the Emergency Department. “Queen of the Valley’s GEDA award elevates the hard work we’ve done by formally signaling to our community our commitment to continually improving the care we provide to older adults in our emergency department, while also enhancing the care we deliver to all.”

“We are honored the American College of Emergency Physicians has recognized our caregivers’ commitment to treating all patients, with dignity and integrity while meeting the highest standards,” said Larry Coomes, chief executive of Queen of the Valley Medical Center. “We are a mission-driven organization that is continuously looking for ways to refine services for older adults who visit our emergency department. I am proud of our caregivers and doctors who have made this possible and see this is as one of Queen of the Valley’s crowning achievements.”

The voluntary GEDA program was launched by the American College of Emergency Physicians, Gary and Mary West Health and John A. Hartford Foundation and includes three levels, similar to trauma center designations, and provides specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators to target.

According to recent estimates, up to 25% of patients seen in the Queen’s Emergency Department are aged 65 years or older. Nearly half of all adults aged 65 or older visit the ED each year. By 2030, nationally one in five Americans will be aged 65 or older. To ensure an optimal experience for older adults, Queen of the Valley will incorporate a senior-friendly design and layout into its “refresh”. The renovation is in the beginning stages and is being funded, in part, by Queen of the Valley Foundation.

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