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Title
Saint Alphonsus Health System launches Senior ER initiative
Start Date
06/21/2012
Article

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact Elizabeth Duncan.

Specialized Emergency Care for Seniors addresses growing need

Boise, ID – When you or someone you love needs emergency care you know how stressful a trip to the emergency room can be. Now, imagine being a senior citizen with a multitude of special needs in addition to your health emergency? Saint Alphonsus Health System announced today the creation of a system-wide Senior Emergency Room initiative, marketed as Senior ER. Saint Alphonsus Senior ER™ is being incorporated in our Emergency Departments in Boise, Eagle, Nampa, Ontario and Baker City and will include both physical and cultural enhancements to address the special needs of a growing segment of the population.

The first Senior ER in the country was created by Trinity Health’s Silver Spring, Maryland based Holy Cross Hospital. Saint Alphonsus Health System, a member of Trinity Health, has joined other member hospitals across the United States in implementing this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive emergency medical care program for seniors in Idaho and Oregon.

“Our senior community is about to explode as the baby boomer generation enters the Medicare demographic,” said Dr. John Guicheteau, a Board Certified Internal Medicine and Geriatrics physician with Saint Alphonsus Medical Group. “Saint Alphonsus Health System is pioneering the region’s first Senior ER™ in response to this bourgeoning community need. We are thankful for the critically important input of our emergency physicians and our community advisors.”

12.4% of Idaho’s current population of 1.5 million is over the age of 65 according to the 2010 Census. That number will grow dramatically in the coming years as the

Baby boomer generation ages. Americans born between 1946 and 1964 are considered part of the Baby Boomer generation.

“Saint Alphonsus Health System emergency staff are highly skilled and trained to provide the most advanced medical care for patients of all ages,” said Sally Jeffcoat, President and CEO, Saint Alphonsus Health System. “As part of our mission to heal body, mind, and spirit we have chosen to seek additional training and education and go even further to address an unmet need. We are proud to be the first in Idaho and Oregon to create Senior ER’s.”

Beyond the typical ER visit, where staff focuses on treating the medical issue at hand, the Senior ER goes deeper, assessing and addressing root causes for each visit. The care and extra attention seniors receive is intended to make them feel calm, secure and well informed about their health. Senior-friendly amenities will vary by site.

Cultural Enhancements to the Senior ER include:

  • Saint Alphonsus emergency room nurses completed Geriatric Emergency Nursing Education (GENE) through the Emergency Nurses Association.
  • Our licensed social workers or case managers discuss and coordinate care options with caregivers and seniors to help ensure better quality of life, improved nutrition and appropriate follow-up care.
  • Our pharmacists will conduct assessments to reduce risks associated with being on multiple medications and their potential interactions.

Physical Enhancements include:

Pressure-reducing mattresses to prevent skin breakdown and reduce incidence of pressure ulcers

  • Soft, indirect lighting fixtures, including dimmers, to help with vision
  • Quieter care areas to reduce anxiety and aid in helping them hear better
  • Large-print for documents, clocks and call lights
  • Non-skid, non-glare flooring
  • Items frequently forgotten by seniors, such as reading glasses and hearing enhancement technology will be available

About Saint Alphonsus Health System
Saint Alphonsus Health System is a four-hospital, 714-bed regional, faith-based Catholic ministry with over 4,300 Associates and 950 medical staff. Serving the people of southwestern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada, Saint Alphonsus Health System is comprised of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho; Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa, ID; Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Ontario, OR; Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Baker City, OR; Saint Alphonsus Medical Group, with more than 275 primary care and specialty care providers at 35 clinic locations. As a not-for-profit health system, Saint Alphonsus Health System reinvests profits back into the community and works to improve the health and well-being of those we serve by emphasizing care that is patient-centered, innovative and community-based. Saint Alphonsus Health System is a member of Trinity Health, Novi, Michigan. To find out more go to: www.saintalphonsushealthsystem.org

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Saint Alphonsus Health System  |  1055 North Curtis Road  Boise, ID 83706  |  208-367-2121

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