The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has awarded Cleveland Clinic’s main campus Emergency Department a Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA). Cleveland Clinic is one of only three hospitals in the state of Ohio to achieve Level 1 accreditation. Only 13 U.S. hospitals have achieved this gold-level status.
Launched in 2014, the GEDA program aims to improve and standardize emergency care of older, high-risk adults, and is acknowledged by three levels of accreditation. To achieve Level 1 status, hospitals must meet more than two dozen requirements and best practices related to providing quality care for geriatric patients, including
- enhanced staffing and education,
- geriatric-focused policies and procedures,
- continuous quality improvement,
- outcome measures and
- ensuring continuity of care
Led jointly by the Emergency Services Institute and Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Geriatric Medicine, the program tailors care to address the complex physical and social challenges many older adults present with at the emergency department.
The interdisciplinary program uses a team-based approach, including coordinated care among emergency medicine, geriatric medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, rehabilitation, and case management.
“We are proud to receive this Level 1 accreditation that reflects Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to providing comprehensive evaluation and patient-centered care for high-risk geriatric patients,” said Stephen Meldon, M.D., vice chair of the Emergency Services Institute and co-director of the geriatric emergency department and geriatric care unit. “This designation shows our continued efforts to elevate our level of emergency care to better serve our patients and community.”
Older patients with cognition and mobility issues, lack of social support or adverse drug reactions are among those treated in the geriatric care unit.
“Adults aged 65 and older represent one of the largest populations seeking emergency care,” said Saket Saxena, M.D., a geriatrician and co-director of the geriatric emergency department and geriatric care unit. “Our geriatric emergency department reflects a unique model of care where a dedicated geriatrician works alongside emergency department providers. Our resources include a geriatric care unit that focuses not only on acute needs, but also addresses and screens for other concerns that put older adults at an increased risk for hospitalizations.”
Patients are examined by a geriatrician and care management specialist to determine whether they need to be admitted to the hospital, transitioned to a skilled nursing facility, or prescribed home care services.
Additionally, screening tools are utilized to recognize cognitive impairment and delirium at the time of triage.
“Our geriatrics emergency department is central to Cleveland Clinic’s geriatrics ecosystem, linking to our geriatrics hospital and medical intensive care teams, as well as our outpatient Successful Aging platform, which catalyzes population health outcomes across the care continuum,” said Ardeshir Hashmi, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Endowed Chair for Geriatric Innovation. “We are committed to preserving the independence and dignity of our geriatric patients while providing the latest treatments, comprehensive services and improved patient outcomes.”
Following the accreditation of our main campus emergency department, this program was expanded to additional Cleveland Clinic regional emergency departments. Cleveland Clinic Akron General and South Pointe hospitals have received Level 3 GEDA accreditation. Other Cleveland Clinic regional locations also are pursuing accreditation.