In recognition of excellence in care for older patients, Northwell Health’s 17 emergency departments (ED) across Long Island, New York City and Westchester have been recognized by the (ACEP) for their expertise in caring for geriatric patients.
Northwell is the first health system in the nation to have every ED in its network accredited.
“This achievement was made possible by the close collaboration between our emergency department teams, and geriatric and palliative care clinicians to deliver high-quality care to older adults who need a tailored approach to meet their needs during an ED visit,” said , executive director and senior vice president of at Northwell Health. “I’m extremely proud of the teamwork demonstrated by our remarkable interdisciplinary teams at each ED, and their energy and commitment in enhancing care for seniors during some of their most vulnerable times.”
The voluntary geriatric accreditation provides specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators. The accreditation recommends more than two dozen best practices for geriatric care. Northwell EDs were awarded a level 3 accreditation, which requires many of these best practices and geriatric education for emergency medicine staff, as well as screenings and programs focused on older adults. Those include: geriatric-friendly equipment availability and policies regarding routine assessments for delirium, dementia or fall risk.
New York State is home to the third-largest elderly population in the country, according to the New York Academy of Medicine. Over the next decade, adults 65 years and older are expected to grow to 20 percent of the US population. Across Northwell Health, emergency departments report over 800,000 visits annually, of which nearly 30 percent of patients are 65 years and older.
“Seniors who arrive in the emergency department need extra support and our staff recognizes it can be a challenge to navigate a complex medical system,” said Tara Liberman, DO, associate chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at Northwell Health. “Our hospitals were already achieving most of the senior-friendly measures for accreditation, but through the geriatric recognition program we’ve been able to strengthen and standardize care for older adults throughout all Northwell EDs.”