, KY — The Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) program awards Level 1 Accreditation
The Robley Rex VA Medical Center (VAMC) Emergency Department has earned the GEDA Level 1 accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
The Level 1 accreditation has been awarded to only three other U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals nationwide and it recognizes hospitals with elite geriatric-focused emergency care. To achieve Level 1 status, hospitals must meet 24 criteria in areas including:
- Enhanced staffing and education
- Geriatric-focused policies and procedures
- Continuous quality improvement
- Outcome measures
- Ensuring continuity of care
The proportion of the United States population over 65 years of age is projected to nearly double from 43 million in 2012 to 83 million in 2050. Aging adults currently comprise 18% of total emergency department (ED) visits. This represents a 42% increase between 2002 and 2012 with anticipated continued expansion for decades to come.
In total, 43 VA hospitals earned some accreditation from ACEP in 2022.
“Because of the Emergency Department’s unique position within the hospital, we have an incredible opportunity to change the health outcomes of this aging demographic,” said Dr. Amy Minix, an Associate Chief of Staff for Emergency Medicine at the Robley Rex VAMC.
According to Minix, the Robley Rex VAMC’s journey to this Accreditation began in 2019.
“We developed a strategic plan to transform the way that the ED treated geriatric patients,” Minix stated. “More than half of the patients we care for are over the age of 65 and often have multiple comorbidities. Our first quality of care initiative was developed to reduce drug interactions and potentially harmful side effects of medications prescribed to elderly patients.”
After two years, countless hours of meetings, and 12 additional quality improvement projects were implemented, the ED was awarded a GEDA Level 2 Accreditation in 2021. One year later and after seven more quality of care improvement projects were completed, Dr. Minix and her staff were recently notified they had achieved a Level 1 Accreditation for 2022.
“When we received the news from ACEP that we had achieved the highest level this year, we knew our vision and hard work had paid off – not for the recognition of this status from our peers, but for our Veterans who deserve the best healthcare possible,” Minix continued. “After last year, our multidisciplinary team, including: ED staff, Geriatrics and Extended Care, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Social Work, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, continued to execute and enhance the same plan we created three years ago. Our resolve paid off, and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone who bought in and helped us deliver this incredible recognition.”
Emergency Department physician and Veteran Roger Gelperin concurred.
“I think our focus on the subtleties between the care needs of our older population from their younger counterparts allows us to focus on the details that mean the most to our patients,” Gelperin stated. “Because the staff here at the Robley Rex VAMC dares to dream big about achieving elite accreditations like this one, I am pleased to be both a provider and a patient at this hospital.”
For more information on the services provided by the Robley Rex VA Medical Center, visit our website.
The Robley Rex VA Medical Center is a tertiary care facility classified as a Clinical Referral Level 1b Facility. In total, the healthcare system, including eight community-based outpatient clinics, employs over 2,000 people and services nearly 45,000 Veterans in a 35-county area of Kentucky and Indiana.