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Two Missouri Hospitals Serve as Best Practice Models for National System,Three California Hospitals Follow with Geriatric ED Accreditation

Senior patients entering the emergency room at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, MO, notice the difference quickly. The room is accessible and inviting, with easy-to-read signs and clocks. Reading glasses and hearing devices are made available to make patients comfortable. Teams of geriatric-trained nurses, doctors provide individualized assessments and care plans, the entire experience is reflective of the needs of older adults.

St. Joseph is one of two Prime Healthcare hospitals in Missouri to pioneer a best-practice model to serve the growing population of seniors nationwide. The model has proven so successful it has expanded to other Prime hospitals across the United States, the most recent of which received Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation this month from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Prime Healthcare anticipates further growth of this unique program that honors and elevates the specific needs of seniors. It’s part of an ongoing commitment to senior care that led to the creation of a new Corporate position to help other Prime Healthcare hospitals develop programs to serve their aging populations.

“It is important to us at Prime Healthcare to anticipate the shifting needs of our communities. We recognize that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day,” said Luis Leon, President of Operations for Prime Healthcare’s Division II Hospitals. “Our communities are aging, and our Senior Care programs provide assurance that seniors will receive the specialized care necessary to meet their changing needs When seniors choose a Prime Healthcare hospital, they can rest easy knowing our commitment is to help them lead full and active lives,” he continued.

Anne Xenos, a leader from St. Joseph Medical Center which piloted this program, has taken on the mission of expanding senior services in the Midwest, Southeast and East Coast as Corporate Director of Senior Care for Prime Healthcare’s Division II. “Patients and their families often don’t realize that medical needs change as we age and that effectively caring for geriatric patients requires special training and programs,” said Ms. Xenos. “Our goal is to ensure that the award-winning care that you have come to expect from Prime Healthcare is delivered to all patients, including to the seniors in our communities.”

Senior Care programs are crafted in response to the unique needs of each community and begin by assessing and enhancing the care experience for seniors. Then, processes are established in the Emergency Department, and inpatient units, involving multidisciplinary care teams. Designated patient rooms are enhanced to provide amenities appreciated by seniors, including therapeutic beds, soft flooring, larger clocks and more. In some areas, outpatient clinics provide a continuum of care for seniors, including wellness screenings and dietician services. As a physician-led organization, Prime Healthcare launches its senior care program in partnership with local geriatricians and trains nurses on the special care needs of geriatric patients.

“Specialized care at Prime Healthcare hospitals doesn’t stop when a senior patient is discharged,” said Jodi Fincher, CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center. “Follow up care is essential to ensure quality of life and an active lifestyle as patients age.”

In addition to St. Joseph Medical Center, Prime Healthcare has launched its senior care program at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs, MO; Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino, CA.; San Dimas Community Hospital in San Dimas, CA.; and at Montclair Hospital Medical Center in Montclair, CA.