Specialized ER Care for Senior Patients

San Antonio Earns Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation for exceptional emergency care given to seniors.


Outstanding Emergency Care for Our Senior Patients

Seniors utilize many healthcare services, perhaps none as frequently as hospital emergency departments.  In fact, statistics show that older adults visit the ER at comparatively higher rates than non-seniors.  In addition, senior patients who are brought to the ER often have special needs unique to older adults.

The concept of a geriatric emergency department has developed in the past few decades as hospitals realize that a one-size-fits-all care approach does not work for all patients.  To that end, The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has granted San Antonio Regional Hospital Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) because of the hospital’s outstanding efforts to provide the highest standards of care to our community’s senior population.

To achieve this accreditation, San Antonio met special geriatric emergency department guidelines and recommendations. These included adding geriatric-friendly equipment, specialized staff, and more routine screenings for delirium, dementia, and fall risk, among other conditions specific to seniors.

“San Antonio Regional Hospital is dedicated to providing our older patients with well-coordinated, quality care,” notes Thomas Cho, MD, Medical Director of San Antonio’s Emergency Department.  “Our senior patients often have complex medical and psychosocial care needs.  As an accredited geriatric ED, we are able to implement best practices when it comes to care that specifically addresses the unique needs of our older patients.”

Hospitals who participate in the GEDA accreditation program implement best practices when caring for seniors who come to the ER. These practices help improve patient outcomes, provide standardized care for addressing common geriatric issues, and ensure the best transition of care for seniors who may need to be transferred from the emergency room to various other settings  (hospital in-patient, home, rehabilitation, or long-term care).