In recognition of excellence towardcaring for patients age 65 and older, Glen Cove Hospital’s emergency department (ED) has earned top accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for its expertise in treating geriatric patients.
Glen Cove, a member of Northwell Health, is the only community hospital in New York State and the 19th in the United States and Canada to earn ACEP’s Level 1 gold status, which requires hospitals to meet more than two dozen requirements and best practices related to providing quality care for older adults. Key areas include: Staffing and education, a geriatric social worker dedicated to the ED, standardized geriatric-focused policies and procedures, quality improvement and outcomes measurement, equipment and supplies and the physical environment.
“We know elderly patients enter the emergency department with several chronic conditions and often take multiple medications, coupled with complex social issues,” said John Colletta, MD, chair of the emergency department at Glen Cove Hospital. “Achieving the Level 1 ACEP accreditation demonstrates to patients, family members and the community that we have the most educated and advanced providers delivering the best care to older adults in the ED. We provide seamless continuing care for patients requiring inpatient care as well as outpatient referrals by our social worker to ensure ideal transitions of care and follow up with our specialized providers.
The multidisciplinary geriatric team includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychiatrists, dieticians, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other specialists to ensure full–service care.
“This outstanding achievement was made possible by the close collaboration between our dedicated emergency department champions and staff and the unwavering support of Northwell Health’s leadership in emergency medicine and geriatric and palliative care,” said Kerri Anne Scanlon, RN, the hospital’s executive director. “When you are dealing with a loved one with complex issues, you can truly feel confident bringing an older family member to Glen Cove, which provides superb interdisciplinary communication and care to every patient. Caring for elderly patients is mission critical and our social commitment to providing unparalled integrated care.”
Dr. Colletta noted several upgrades to the physical environment were made for safety and enhanced care. Already equipped with private ED treatment rooms, Glen Cove dedicated four rooms to geriatric care – with more to be added soon, withincreased precautions against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Windowed-rooms provided natural light and subdued lighting, helpful for any patients with dementia, and large wall clocks and non-skid floors were installed.Comfortable recliners are in each room for patients or visitors.
Achieving the highest level of geriatric emergency accreditation is challenging for any institution said Dr. Colletta. “I am extremely proud of our ED staff who have been treating COVID-19 patients for nearly two years as well as all other emergency patients who come through our doors 24/7, who dedicated themselves as a close-knit team to achieve Level 1 recognition, the gold medal of geriatric emergency care.”
New York State is home to the third-largest population of Americans age 65 and older, with approximately 3.2 million people, and it’s estimated that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day, according to the National Center For Research Resources and the National Institutes of Health. Across Northwell Health emergency departments, including Glen Cove Hospital, nearly 30 percent of all patient visits are 65 and older.
Recent initiatives at Glen Cove Hospital to strengthen geriatric care not only includes bolstering senior-friendly measures in the ED, but creating geriatric excellence programsand centers of surgical excellence. The hospital has been designated an Age-Friendly Health System by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which offers an innovative program for patients with Parkinson’s disease and opened hospital-based caregiver center. In the future, the hospital will add geriatricians to its ambulatory care service.