Senior ED Program is a Winner By Almost Every Measure
But if you believe that moving from volume to value generally will pay benefits for your hospital or health system as healthcare reform matures, developing such a program seems like a no-brainer. The benefits to the patient are unquestionable, given Summa's results. For improving patient care and satisfaction, it's a clear win.
But first, let's take a look at the program itself and the findings of a two-month study. Scott Wilber, MD, medical director of senior emergency care and director of emergency medicine research at Summa, says the health system has been thinking about adding a senior track to its ED for years. The idea germinated from the health system's ACE (acute care for the elderly) unit, which started in the 1990's, when Wilber was a resident.
"About five years ago, we started talking about the idea of a geriatric ED," he says. By fall of 2012, coincident with an $85 million, system-wide ED renovation program, the geriatric ED was operational.
And the results are promising. Based on a two-month study comparing January 23–March 23, 2013 with the same period a year prior, the program:
- Significantly reduced admissions (4.3%)
- Increased observation status (1.7%)
- Increased discharge to home rates (2.4%)
- Significantly increased patient satisfaction scores
- Did not significantly increase ED revisits
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