LHN: Emergency Department designed for older Adults

Emergency Department

Dupont Hospital’s Emergency Department is one of just 17 in the country and the only ED in Indiana to be recognized by the ACEP.

Emergency Care Designed for Older Adults
Dupont Hospital is one of 17 in the country with Level 1 accreditation

Fort Wayne, Indiana (May 13, 2021) – Joyce Lukin has experienced several emergency room visits in her lifetime, especially in the last few years. The 78-year-old New Haven resident’s most recent visit to Dupont Hospital’s Level 1-accredited Geriatric Emergency Department
stands out from the rest.

Lukin recently went to Dupont Hospital’s Emergency Department due to colitis complications and other issues, including extremely low sodium and calcium levels. “My levels had dropped so low, they admitted me so they could observe me,” she explains. “Everybody was wonderful and explained everything.”

Dupont Hospital’s Emergency Department is one of just 17 in the country and the only ED in Indiana to be recognized by the American College of Emergency Physicians with a Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA). This accreditation highlights the highest level of excellence in care for older adult patients. To achieve a Level 1 GEDA accreditation, clinicians and administrators are required to meet more than two dozen best practices for geriatric care, including possessing geriatric-appropriate equipment and supplies, specialized staff, availability for routine screening for delirium, dementia and fall risk.

Team members are specially trained to care for patients over the age of 65. Patients receive a geriatric assessment screening that includes evaluating living arrangements and screening for memory and depression. “During the geriatric screening, we can ascertain if there’s a need at home ‒ meals, home health care, medical equipment or safety with mobility,” explains Caroline Matvya, nurse practitioner and geriatric navigator for Dupont Hospital. “We can involve therapy to evaluate potential issues that may need to be addressed in the future. Geriatrics is a team effort that involves all disciplines. I’m thankful to be a part of this

Many patients find comfort in the environmental characteristics of a Geriatric ED, including enhanced lighting, noise reduction and high quality, large print signage. Lukin’s memory during her stay was admittedly a bit foggy, but it was the home care that was set up during her stay that ultimately made a big difference in her recovery. “I had home health care people come two or three times a week to my home and oversee my medicines that were quite confusing to me. I can do my own now, though,” said Lukin. “I have a nurse that comes once
a week. It’s all really new to me. I never had any of this home health care before.”

“Older patients require a higher level of health care and perhaps none used as frequently or as importantly as the Emergency Department,” says Andrew Offerle, MD, emergency medicine physician and medical director of the Emergency Department at Dupont Hospital.

“We have set up our Emergency Department inpatient processes and post-ED services to help meet those unique needs with maximum comfort and minimal complications.”

“They were so professional there. It seemed like they cared about you and they wanted to help and everything,” concludes Lukin. “I just like the way the operation was done there.”


About Lutheran Health Network
The foundation of Lutheran Health Network is built on an experienced team of more than 6,200 employees working together with more than 800 physicians and advanced practice providers. The network’s more than 100 access points in northeastern Indiana include acute care hospitals, specialty hospitals, physician offices, urgent care clinics, and outpatient centers. Dupont, Lutheran, Rehabilitation, St. Joseph and The Orthopedic hospitals are owned in part by physicians.

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