Background: The emergency department plays an important role in improving elderly care. As an ever-increasing access point for medical care, the emergency department sits at a crossroads between inpatients and outpatient care.
Aim and objective: To evaluate the management strategies to make the emergency OPD elderly friendly through quality assurance of geriatric syndrome.
Materials and methods: Four hundred elderly patients admitted to the emergency department of a tertiary care hospital were enrolled consecutively. Information regarding baseline characteristics was recorded. A 34-point observation checklist was used to assess the management strategies being practiced for the elderly population. The checklist comprised of observation pertaining to the geriatric-friendly environment; the practice of using geriatric assessment scales; and training of nursing personnel regarding care of elderly patients.
Results: Though the engineering aspects of the study setting had adequate-elderly friendly features, there was a scope of ensuring the provision of assistive and enabling devices like walkers, canes, etc., availability of low-heightened beds and trolleys, bedside commode, raised toilet, etc. There was also a definite scope of initiating a system of formal SOPs/protocols/policies/for various syndromes like cognitive decline, urinary incontinence, falls, polypharmacy, pain management, etc. A need was also observed to organize on-the-job training for the nursing personnel because well-informed professionals will be better able to provide quality and customized care to the elderly.
Conclusion: Though elderly patients were being managed adequately in the emergency, there was a definite scope of initiating a system of formal SOPs/protocols/policies/for various domains pertaining to geriatric syndromes and training of nurses regarding the care of the elderly.
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