ERs Should Prepare For The Care of Aging U.S. Population

Dr. Tess Hogan Explains the importance of ERs in preparing for the care of an aging population.

“Hogan told the Tribune that improved care for seniors can reduce readmissions, save hospitals money and often allow these patients to stay at home, where they’d prefer to be. The financial investment in boosting geriatric care can be minimal, too, she said, as it could just require additional training to improve clinician awareness about the needs of elderly patients.”

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Tess Hogan, MD
Director of Geriatric Emergency Medicine

Hospitals focus on baby boomers and elderly, but will it boost patients’ health and save money?

 “The idea is, if you give better care earlier, then it costs you less,” stated Dr. Tess Hogan, director of geriatric emergency medicine at the University of Chicago.

Hogan, who is part of the collaborative working on the geriatric emergency department accreditation system, said hospitals don’t have to spend a lot of money to improve care for seniors. She said for a few thousand dollars, they could invest in geriatric training for staff members. And while implementing new senior-friendly policies requires time and discussion, there’s essentially no other cost involved in the process, she added.

Ultimately, it’s up to hospitals to decide what kind of investment makes sense based on their location, budget and demographics, Hogan said. But given the rising tide of baby boomers hitting their older years, she said, health providers need to start making those decisions soon.