“A healthcare system should signal to the community that we know how to care for older adults.” –Kevin Biese, MD, MAT, Co-Director of UNC’s Geriatric Emergency Medicine Service
As the state’s first geriatrics-certified hospital, UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus provides emergency care informed by the best practices of geriatrics medicine. The hospital is the first in North Carolina to receive Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA). Earning a Level 2 “Silver” accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) certifies that all Hillsborough Hospital ED staff are trained to assess older patients in more conscientious and comprehensive ways.
Hillsborough’s geriatric-friendly policies and processes, along with special equipment and rooms, aim to improve emergency care for older adults. To date, UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus is one of about 20 hospitals accredited nationwide.
Kevin Biese, MD, MAT, is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Geriatrics, and Co-Director of the Geriatric Emergency Medicine Service.
“We’re thinking about the structure and the processes of care,” says Biese. A geriatric-friendly emergency department “is about quiet, it’s about dimmer lights, it’s about screening for falls prevention and delirium.”
With more than 60 percent of national hospital admissions for patients over 65 coming through the emergency department, accreditation can help hospitals focus on factors leading to fewer hospitalizations and more successful outcomes after discharge.
Christina Shenvi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, led UNC’s accreditation efforts, along with Jeff Strickler, Vice President of the UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus, and a team of nurses, pharmacists, case managers, and more.
ACEP launched the accreditation program in 2018 to improve and standardize emergency care for older patients. Biese was appointed as the accreditation program chair and works with hospitals nationally to promote and achieve GEDA accreditation.