IFEM Issues Standard of Care Statement for Geriatric Emergency Medicine
On December 18, the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) shared its first Statement on Minimum Standards for the Care of Older People in Emergency Departments. The statement was created by IFEM’s Geriatric Emergency Medicine Special Interest Group and published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine.
The document, which is the first step in a campaign by IFEM to improve care for the world’s growing geriatric population, sets down eight minimum standards:
The right approach: EDs should recognise that older people are a core population of service users, not defined by chronological age, but by the complex interactions of physical, psychological and social frailty, disease and access to care.
The right personnel: EDs should identify that adequate care of older people often involves an interdisciplinary and multi-specialty approach to their interconnected medical, social, cognitive, and functional issues, and should have appropriately trained interdisciplinary staff.
The right environment: EDs should address safety and accessibility issues for older people with the design of the physical environment and available equipment.
The right decision making: EDs should ensure that the needs and goals of older people are considered at all levels of decision making, recognising the importance of shared decision making in this age group.
The right processes: EDs should establish policies and procedures that guide holistic person-centred management of problems common to older people, and should promote quality improvement focusing on older people.
The right support: EDs should facilitate education about the physical, social and functional issues common to older people utilising evidence-based principles in staff training and development.
The right results: EDs should actively support patient-centred care that leads to optimal outcomes for older people.
The right system: EDs should include strategies for safe and effective transitions of care of older people with support from community- and hospital-based services.
The document was authored by Brittany Ellis, MD, MSc; Christopher R. Carpenter, MD, MSc; Judy A. Lowthian, PhD, MPH, BAppSc, (SpPath); Simon P. Mooijaart, MD, PhD; Christian H. Nickel, MD; Don Melady, MD, MSc(Ed)
Additional IFEM guidelines and policies can be found HERE on the IFEM website.