Nursing

News spotlight: Low-cost solutions improve geriatric patients’ comfort and care

Nurse Leader Insider, February 9, 2009

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Overcrowded hectic emergency departments (EDs) seldom allow for speedy, serene patient stays. Lucky for patients 65 years of age and older they can now find peace in Holy Cross Hospital's senior emergency center.

Located in Silver Spring, MD, the facility recently opened the eight-room center, which is one of the country's first EDs designed specifically for the elderly patient population. Elderly patients with non life-threatening ailments are directed to the center's individual cubicles, which each house a comfy chair for a family member or visitor, and a mattress twice as thick as those in the facility's traditional ED beds to prevent bedsores. Pillows and several blankets kept heated in a blanket warmer provide additional comfort to patients. The center's lighting and audiology is also gentler on patients' aging eyes and ears.

First class geriatric care is provided by nurses in the center who were trained in techniques to communicate effectively with elderly patients who have hearing impairments or process information slowly.

Most of the extra services are low-cost enhancements to the $150,000 center. It's hoped that through improved patient satisfaction, communication, assessments, and follow-up, the center will be more efficient than the common ED.

Sources: HealthLeadersmedia.com and WashingtonPost.com



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