Hospitals see more elderly patients as the population continues to age, and as a result plan to retool their approach to emergency care to better suit the greater numbers of seniors.
Facilities in the San Diego region, for instance, are planning geriatric-specific emergency departments and have offered training to help emergency physicians better care for seniors. Kaiser Permanente’s San Diego Medical Center, the newest in the city, was built with nonslip floors, adjustable lighting and a computerized guardrail system, all of which are designed to reduce fall risk and cater to patients with delirium, according to an article from The San Diego Union-Tribune.
San Diego Medical Center and other hospitals in the region, like Palomar Health, are working on new hip fracture protocols to improve outcomes for elderly patients. UC San Diego’s hospital in La Jolla will open its geriatric ER next year, and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla’s revamped emergency department was built with seniors in mind; it has glass doors and walls to reduce noise and a 16-bed “decision center” where patients meet with geriatric specialists.