Huntington Hospital is among Northwell Health‘s 17 emergency departments recognized for their care of geriatric patients.
The American College of Emergency Physicians said the departments demonstrated 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 John D’Angelo, MD, executive director and senior vice president of Emergency Medicine Services 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 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.
Radhika Malhotra, MD, emergency medicine physician at Huntington Hospital said, “Through a multidisciplinary approach we will better meet the needs of the geriatric population. We have implemented a fall prevention initiative, ensuring walkers, canes and other mobility aids are available in the ED at all times. We have also guaranteed that food is available to our patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Further, HHED has an ED case manager who is available daily to work closely with our geriatric patients, families and outside healthcare facilities. We understand that it is often frightening being a patient, even more so for a geriatric patient. Therefore, at Huntington Hospital Emergency Department, we hope to make our ED as safe and comfortable as possible for the elderly population.”