Sunday, July 08, 2012
Elkhart General and Memorial Hospital of South Bend Collaborate to Offer Special Support for Senior Emergency Room Patients
As one of the first patient care enhancements developed from the affiliation between Elkhart General and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, the two organizations have collaborated to launch a new program in both emergency departments to meet the special needs of senior citizens. Team members from both organizations reviewed senior care policies and procedures and blended the two, benchmarked other enhancements from around the country and launched new procedures.
Greg Losasso, President of Elkhart General Hospital stated, "When patients over the age of 70 need emergency care, there are often many extra challenges they face. Our new enhanced service is designed to accommodate these needs while we continue to offer the safest and highest quality care in the region." He added, "As baby boomers age and people are living longer, all hospitals need to be well prepared to offer those who face the most physical demands of their lives a higher level of service."
One of the newest features is senior clinical follow up calls that all senior patients discharged to their homes will receive. Other coordinated efforts include regular depression and social services screenings, visual aids and hearing assistance devices and visitation policies that help senior patients avoid being alone.
Elkhart General typically sees some 3,600 patients over the age of 70 each year and the Memorial Leighton Trauma Center sees approximately 4,200.
Bev Teegarden, Chief Nursing Executive at Memorial said, "Our two emergency medicine leaders enjoyed working together on this first project to blend the strengths of both organizations now that we're part of Beacon Health System. The fact that patients are benefiting so quickly from our new affiliation is exciting for all of us."
Beacon Health System was formed last January when Elkhart and Memorial officially became one organization. The two hospitals operate the busiest emergency medicine departments in the region.