Friday, February 20, 2015

Hospital Emergency Department Treatment for Older Adults (Research, Video 3:47)

How was your last visit to the hospital emergency department (ED)? Were you satisfied with your wait time before and after you were placed in a room? Could this time have been used in a more productive manner while you waited? What about your interactions with healthcare providers? Do you think they showed you genuine concern? Consider the general environment. Did it meet your particular needs in terms of comfort and practicality? Was your experience one that you would recommend for older adults? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed to meet the unique needs of this population.

Hospital emergency department research using audio-taped encounters of patients was done to assess the proportion of time that patients spent in conversation with providers during emergency department visits. Analysis revealed that patients with older age, longer visits, and those requiring a procedure had more talk-time. Overall results indicated that approximately 75% of patients’ time in care areas is spent not interacting with providers. That is a large amount of time that could be better spent in ways that can both enrich the process and educate patients.

Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York is featured in this video as an example of a hospital that says it exhibits geriatric friendliness through protocols and physical changes in the emergency department.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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