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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Earns Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital was recently recognized as an accredited Geriatric Emergency Department by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The team at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Emergency Department initiated the effort the obtain the Level-3 Geriatric Emergency Room Certification in response to the region’s aging demographic. According to the 2020 US Census, New Hampshire is the fourth oldest state in the country.

In the Wentworth-Douglass organization overview report it was identified that 15.54% of the population served by the hospital is aged 65 years and older and that’s projected to increase to 18% by 2024. 

Emergency Department Quality/Safety Nurse Tammy Smart, RN, BSN, CEN, did a deeper dive into the Emergency Room’s data and found that approximately 30% of the patients that were seen in the Emergency Room in 2021 were 65 years and older.

Smart said the Level-3 Geriatric Emergency Room Certification makes a statement to the older population that they can get the care they need at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.

“We felt like we were already doing all this stuff, it was really just putting the package together and tying up a few loose ends,” Smart said of obtaining the certification. “We really do provide quality care for the geriatric patient at Wentworth-Douglass because we know that’s our patient clientele, so why not get the recognition for the hard work that the staff and the leadership team are doing for those patients.”

To fulfil certification requirements, the Emergency Department:

·       Identified one physician champion.

·       Identified two nurse champions.

·        Identified needed equipment and supplies for the patient population.

·        And developed an ED specific policy that addresses an area of care that is important to the care of geriatric patients.

The Geriatric Emergency Room Certification fits within the mission of the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital by providing a quality program that partners with the community so these patients may attain their highest level of health with a quality and safety focus that is innovative and cost effective. 

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