Geriatrics Emergency Department Collaborative

Supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and managed in its initial planning stages by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), the GEDC is an innovative collaboration on the future of geriatric emergency care. It brings together a growing number of hospitals and health systems, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the AGS, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). The initiative builds upon decades of research, clinical enhancement programs, and educational initiatives led by all four of these national organizations to improve the care of older adults in U.S. EDs. The GEDC project is led by co-Principal Investigators Ula Hwang, MD, MPH, and Kevin Biese, MD, MAT.

Why Emergency Departments?

As the older adult population increases in the U.S., we are challenged with how to better serve their unique healthcare needs. Increasingly, emergency departments (EDs) are addressing this need, as older adults are more likely to use the ED than almost any other age group.

Annually, there is nearly one ED visit for every two older Americans. Older adults also are at increased risk for serious complications in the ED compared to younger people. Additionally, ED environments, which are often characterized by bright lights, fast pace of activity, and loud noises, can be disorienting to older adults and potentially interfere with the effectiveness of care.

What Will the GEDC Do?

Supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and managed in its initial planning stages by the AGS, the GEDC is an innovative collaboration on the future of geriatric emergency care. It brings together a growing number of hospitals and health systems, ACEP, AGS, ENA, and SAEM. The initiative builds upon decades of research, clinical enhancement programs, and educational initiatives led by all four of these national organizations to improve the care of older adults in U.S. EDs.

Who is Involved in the GEDC?

This effort to further enhance ED care for older adults will bring together experts from the AGS, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), and a growing number of hospitals and health systems.

In 2014, the AGS, ACEP, ENA, and SAEM jointly endorsed the Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines, a standardized set of recommendations. The Guidelines, along with a boot camp pilot that was awarded to ACEP and SAEM through the AGS Geriatrics-for-Specialists Initiative (GSI)’s small grants programs, helped lay the foundation for the GEDC. The four organizations will once again work together to further enhance ED care for older adults, eventually forming the Geriatric Emergency Care Alliance (GECA).  In addition to the four organizations, the GECA will also include members from the Geriatric Emergency Medicine Advisory Council, a group of diverse healthcare professionals, executives, and staff invited to join the Council and provide insight and feedback.

Our nine healthcare system partners are listed below.

  • Aurora Health Care System
  • Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital
  • Magee Women’s Hospital of UPMC
  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Northwestern University
  • St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Chicago
  • University of North Carolina