All four Scripps hospital emergency departments - Scripps Mercy San Diego, Scripps Mercy Chula Vista, Scripps Memorial La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Encinitas - have been recognized for high-quality care of older patients. All four have been awarded geriatric emergency department accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), a designation that recognizes the delivery of a high level of specialized care to older patients.
Seniors account for 18% of visits nationwide, according to ACEP, with that figure anticipated to grow as the U.S. population over 65 years of age doubles from 43 million in 2012 to 83 million in 2050.
“Scripps is proud of the care that we provide to seniors across all of our facilities in San Diego County,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “This new accreditation at our hospitals offers additional assurance to those patients that practices are in place to deliver appropriate, specialized services that are focused on their needs.”
According to the physicians group, the four Scripps hospital campuses met a range of criteria, which includes education, equipment and supplies, guidelines and procedures, the physical environment and staffing. Each department has at least one board-certified emergency medicine physician and one registered nurse who have undergone special training to provide emergency care to older people, according to Scripps.
The emergency departments focus on the transition of elderly patients from hospital care to their homes in an attempt to reduce the chance of them being readmitted. Focusing on seniors in emergency departments improves the care received, as well as help mitigate the nation’s rising health care costs, as those patients are more likely to be admitted to a hospital after longer emergency department stays, according to Scripps.