LCMC Health’s Touro and West Jefferson Medical Center Achieve Level 2 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation

LCMC Health announced that Touro and West Jefferson Medical Center have achieved the silver standard Level 2 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) from The American College of Emergency Physicians, with support from The Gary and Mary West Health Institute and John A. Hartford Foundation. The GEDA accreditation recognizes those emergency departments that provide excellent care for older adults.

Touro and West Jefferson Medical Center are the first hospitals in Louisiana to achieve this accreditation, the highest accreditation in the State for senior emergency care. To garner this, the hospitals’ emergency physicians and nurses have received specialized geriatric emergency care training that goes above and beyond emergency care, specializing in the needs of patients over 65 years of age.

“LCMC Health is committed to ensuring our aging patients, families, and caregivers have access to high-quality medical care that ensures they are safe and well-cared for,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “Our hospitals are proud of the services we offer our senior population, which is a testament to the dedicated team we have in place that cares for this great group of patients, so deserving of healthcare with heart.”

Touro and West Jefferson Medical Center have designed emergency care areas with seniors in mind. This includes:

-Emergency room improvements include specialized hospital beds. The mattresses are designed to prevent bed sores and skin irritation, something that is common to senior patients. The beds can be lowered further to the ground to reduce the risk for fall and provide ease of mobility.

-Special lighting has been installed, as well as large clocks and descriptive signage in the rooms, making it easier to read for patients and produce a more calming environment.

-The flooring is designed to be slip proof, another fall prevention measure.

-There is increased accessibility to mobility aids, including canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.

The special level of healthcare increases beyond the emergency room, as a senior care nurse navigator and dedicated case management personnel ensure proper follow-up care during a subsequent hospital stay and after discharge.

“Senior care is a vital service for our aging population, and Touro is honored to bring that service to our community,” said Manny Linares, president and chief executive officer at Touro. “Whether you are having a heart attack, a stroke, or you had a bad fall, our senior care emergency room is the best place to receive care. We know that healthcare isn’t one size fits all, and we have developed a comprehensive and collaborative care model to meet each individual’s unique needs.”

“West Jefferson Medical Center is proud to be one of Louisiana’s top accredited senior care emergency rooms, an achievement that reflects our commitment to provide senior-focused care on the Westbank,” said Rob Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of West Jefferson Medical Center. “Seniors who visit our emergency room can be assured that we have the necessary expertise, equipment, and personnel in place to create an unparalleled, senior-friendly experience.”

The GEDA program is the culmination of years of progress in emergency care of older adults. In 2014, ACEP along with Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Emergency Nurses Association, and American Geriatrics Society, developed and released geriatric ED guidelines, recommending measures ranging from adding geriatric-friendly equipment to specialized staff to more routine screening for delirium, dementia, and fall risk, among other vulnerabilities.

Touro has been serving the New Orleans community for more than 167 years, and today is the city’s only community-based, non-profit, faith-based hospital offering comprehensive healthcare services at every stage of life, from delivering babies to providing cardiac, cancer rehabilitation, and senior care.

Established 60 years ago, West Jefferson Medical Center West Jefferson Medical Center is a full-service medical center offering comprehensive programs for preventive, emergency, acute, and rehabilitative care.