BROWNSVILLE – A new Emergency Department entirely dedicated to caring for older adults is now open and receiving patients at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville.
The Geriatric Emergency Department (GED), which opened earlier this month, is designed and decorated with the needs of the community’s senior population in mind.
The new GED includes five private rooms with a boutique feel and is designed to meet the mobility challenges of an older patient, as well as providing clinical staff that is trained to assess, triage and treat this population.
“With so many of our year-round residents being seniors and with the influx of our Winter Texan population each winter, it is very important to us that we are tailoring our services to their healthcare needs,” said Wesley Milum, Director of Emergency Services for Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville. “We know these patients may have underlying health problems, and those issues were taken into consideration in regards to furniture to meet their physical needs, handrails to assist with navigation and an interdisciplinary team with the expertise to recognize symptoms that are typical and unique to geriatric patients.”
The five-bed unit will provide a more comfortable and relaxing setting for seniors, and the unit’s established protocols will help better treat and assess the healthcare needs of older patients.
“The signs of a senior patient having a heart attack can present very differently from that of a younger individual also experiencing a heart attack, so it is important the staff be trained to look for these signs,” said Milum. “We also took into consideration mobility challenges these patients may face, so have put in skid-proof floors to help our patients safely move throughout the unit.”
By providing specialized care for seniors, Valley Baptist plans to improve the patient experience and overall patient outcomes by monitoring admission rates and decreasing readmission rates, Milum said.
“We want to make the experience as positive and less overwhelming as possible for our senior population and stand ready to treat them with the specialized care they deserve,” he said.
To find out more about the Geriatric Emergency Department, visit ValleyBaptist.net.