Kent Hospital receives Silver Level 2 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation

WARWICK – Kent County Memorial Hospital announced it has received the Silver Level 2 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

This makes Kent Hospital the only Silver Level 2 geriatric emergency department in the state and one of 100 hospitals in the U.S. to earn the accreditation, according to a news release.

The accreditation program was created to ensure geriatric patients receive high-quality care in emergency departments. Silver Level 2 emergency departments are those that have shown specific initiatives to elevate the level of care for seniors and staff trained for implementing the hospital’s efforts.

“I am proud of our dedicated team who worked tirelessly to earn this recognition, but more importantly improve the care of our older adults,” said Dr. Paari Gopalakrishnan, president and chief operating officer of Kent Hospital. “At Kent Hospital, we have committed ourselves to care for our community presently and in the future. Designations such as this reaffirm our commitment to provide the highest-quality care for our older patients.”

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Gopalakrishnan says that geriatric patients account for 18% of the population and are expected to grow exponentially.

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the proportion of the U.S. population over 65 years old is expected to rise from 43 million in 2012 to 83 million in 2050.

The ACEP also said older adults are more likely to be admitted to the hospital and have longer lengths of emergency department stays. Along with this, older adults have unique emergency department, pre-hospital and inpatient health care needs that require specially designed care.

Best practices for geriatric emergency departments include ensuring geriatric-focused education and interdisciplinary staffing; providing standardized approaches to care that address common geriatric issues; ensuring optimal transitions of care from the emergency department to other settings such as inpatient, home, community-based care, rehabilitation, or long-term care; and promoting geriatric-focused quality improvement and enhancements to the physical environment, equipment and supplies.

Gopalakrishnan said the accreditation builds on the hospital’s efforts to care for older adults.

As part of Kent Hospital’s Healthy Aging and Serious Illness Service Line – which is meant to diagnose, treat and manage specific health issues affecting the aging population – the hospital has run the Acute Care for Elders Inpatient Unit. The unit is one of 43 nationally, and the average age of the 1,300 patients discharged annually from the unit is 84 years old.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Castellani@PBN.com.