Case Study

The Gold Standard in Geriatric Emergency Department Care

< 1 min
June 21, 2024
Leading the Way in Geriatric Emergency Care: The Impact of UC San Diego Health's SECU

In response to the growing number of older adults utilizing emergency department (ED) services, UC San Diego Health established the first Geriatric Emergency Department (GED) in California. This initiative, supported by a partnership with West Health, led to the creation of the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit (SECU), a dedicated space within the ED for geriatric care. The SECU has set a gold standard in geriatric emergency care by providing high-quality, safe care, driving research and innovation, and leading training programs for hospitals across California. The SECU’s holistic approach to care includes technological improvements and a passionate workforce, ensuring that the needs of older adults and their families are met in a patient-centered manner.

A critical component of SECU’s success is the Geriatric Emergency Nurse Initiative Expert (GENIE), who focuses on reducing hospital admissions for older adults with complex, low-acuity conditions. The GENIE connects at-risk patients to a multidisciplinary support team, providing comprehensive care and education to clinical staff. This initiative has resulted in significant cost savings and improved hospital throughput. Additionally, the SECU’s Home program offers an alternative to hospital care by providing services at patients’ homes, further reducing admissions and costs. UC San Diego Health continues to lead the way in geriatric emergency care, training over 50 hospitals statewide and embodying the mission to serve all Californians through excellence in care, research, and education.

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