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Yale New Haven Health System hospitals earn special geriatric accreditation

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

New Haven, CT (July 20, 2022) – Yale New Haven Health is among a small and distinguished group of health systems across the country to receive the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) elite Health System Geriatric Emergency Department accreditation designating eight facilities as senior friendly. The designation has been awarded to just 13 health systems nationwide.

Yale New Haven Health hospitals receiving the GED accreditation include Bridgeport (Milford and Bridgeport campuses), Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Yale New Haven (York Street and Saint Raphael campuses) and Westerly hospitals as well as the Emergency Departments at Pequot Health Center in Groton and Shoreline Medical Center in Guilford.

Each year in the United States, adults aged 50 years and older make more than 40 million visits to an Emergency Department. At Yale New Haven Health we’re ensuring that they receive the greatest of care in our Emergency Department through accreditation by the American College of Emergency (ACEP) Physicians.

“We know that older people seeking care in the Emergency Department have unique needs to address symptoms and requirements that are specific to their age group,” said Ula Hwang, MD, MPH, professor of Emergency Medicine at Yale School of Medicine and attending physician, Yale New Haven Hospital. “Through this accreditation process our providers are trained to look for signs and symptoms of syndromes and illness in the elderly that could be potentially life threatening if left untreated.”

Specifically, clinicians in the Emergency Department have begun to use the “Confusion Assessment Method” (CAM) screening tool for delirium, an acute change in cognitive function and mental status resulting in confused thinking and reduced awareness of surroundings that increases risk of poorer outcomes, including death. According to the ACEP, delirium is a presenting condition for up to 30 percent of older adults in the Emergency Department. Recognizing the signs early results in better treatment.

“This special level of accreditation recognizes systems that are positioned as senior-friendly and have adopted geriatric best practices towards providing top-notch care for older adults across their health system,” the ACEP stated in its announcement to the hospitals.

The American College of Emergency Physicians, with support from The Gary and Mary West Health Institute and John A. Hartford Foundation, launched the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) program to recognize those Emergency Departments that provide excellent care for older adults.

The voluntary GEDA program, which includes three levels similar to trauma center designations, provides specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators to target. The accreditation process provides more than two dozen best practices for geriatric care and the level of GEDA accreditation achieved depends upon how many of these best practices an emergency department is able to meet.

Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the communities it serves. YNHHS includes five hospitals – Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Westerly and Yale New Haven hospitals, several specialty networks and Northeast Medical Group, a non-profit medical foundation with several hundred community-based and hospital-employed physicians. YNHHS is affiliated with Yale University and Yale Medicine, the clinical practice of the Yale School of Medicine and the largest academic multi-specialty practice in New England. Yale New Haven Hospital is the primary teaching hospital of Yale School of Medicine.