UC San Diego Health opens California’s first senior ER unit

Emergency rooms – noisy, crowded and awash in harsh gentle – will be overwhelming for seniors who could also be fragile and confused, or require a better degree of care.

UC San Diego Health has opened a unit specialised in treating seniors requiring emergency healthcare. The Gary and Mary West Emergency Department at UC San Diego Health in La Jolla is the first in California to deal with qualifying sufferers over the age of 65 in a devoted house personalized for geriatric emergency care.

“Although we have been delivering specialized senior emergency care for more than two years, the new physical space allows older adults to be cared for in an environment that better meets their needs than a traditional emergency room setting,” mentioned Dr. Vaishal Tolia, medical director of the emergency division at UC San Diego Health and director of the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit.

The accredited geriatric emergency division options architectural design components for older sufferers, corresponding to rigorously calibrated lighting and improved acoustics, security and luxury, the supplier group said. The personalized ready room options chairs with excessive backs and durable legs and arms to help seniors in sitting and standing.

“The new physical space allows older adults to be cared for in an environment that better meets their needs than a traditional emergency room setting.”

Dr. Vaishal Tolia, UC San Diego Health

The 11 new Senior Emergency Care Unit affected person rooms are geared up with sound-absorbing partitions and ceilings to scale back ambient noise; a variable lighting system that orients sufferers to the precise time of day; and contrasting colours between partitions and flooring and between bogs and chair seats and flooring to enhance mobility and cut back fall danger.

“Senior patients face common complications, such as being at a high risk for falls and cognitive and memory problems,” mentioned Dr. Ted Chan, chair of the division of emergency medication at UC San Diego Health. “All patients in the Senior Emergency Care Unit are treated by a team with special training in geriatric medicine, including pharmacists to manage medications and social workers to ensure a smooth transition home upon discharge.”

The objective with the Senior Emergency Care Unit is to decrease hospital admissions and readmissions on this affected person inhabitants.

Other notable options of the Senior Emergency Care Unit embrace a nursing station seen from all affected person rooms and a non-public lounge to supply caregivers and others a spot to calm down when visits last more than anticipated.

The Senior Emergency Care Unit was made attainable by an $11.8 million grant from Gary and Mary West. The grant allows analysis initiatives between UC San Diego Health and the West Health Institute to determine, consider and disseminate finest practices in geriatric emergency care.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the author: invoice.siwicki@himssmedia.com

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