AGEM Author Spotlight Jun 2022

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Published Work by AGEM Members

AGEM Author Spotlight: Don Melady, MSc(Ed), MD, CCFP(EM)(COE), FCFP Emergency Physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and

John G. Schumacher Associate Professor Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Public Health at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)  

Don Melady-COVID Vaccination story 3 - Don MeladySchumacher Photo - John Schumacher


Creating a Geriatric Emergency Department

20% discount code CGED2021

There are several textbooks about clinical issues in the care of older ED patients, acknowledging that trainees and practitioners need to know more about delirium, and falls, and medications, and many other clinical topics.  However we all know that a well-trained workforce can produce high-quality results only if they work in a well-developed and well-resourced setting.  In our field, this is what we call a geriatric ED -- a general ED that is appropriately modified and improved to provide the best care for older patients.  We, John and Don, wanted to produce a practical guide -- a small handbook -- that would pull together all the essentials of creating that geriatric ED -- the people, the processes, and the place.  This book walks even a new-comer through the basics of creating a geriatric ED -- the need, how to pitch it to hospital leadership, how to finance it, how to respond to naysayers, and how to educate your workforce. It then goes through all the care processes and physical improvements that CAN be implemented -- and gives you the resources to do so.  This book is directed at ED leaders -- physician and nursing -- as well as hospital executive leaders, policy makers, healthcare planners.  

Our book “Creating a Geriatric Emergency Department: A Practical Guide” is meaningful simply because emergency departments (EDs) have always treated older people and our book addresses how to provide such care at scale. People should know that for the next 20 years EDs will see a huge increase in both their number and proportion of older patients. In fact, the ED patient population providers see today will be the youngest that they will ever see in their career. Every single day going forward, the average age of their patients will be rapidly increasing. Now, many emergency physicians, nurses, and administrators are asking, “What do I need to change in order to improve our care for older people and make it easier for our ED to provide that care?” They also wonder “What might make our care of older ED patients more cost-effective?” Our book is literally a practical guide that walks through the basics of how to create a Geriatric ED (GED). It starts with how to make a case for a GED, articulating your return on investment, planning your GED, training your staff, selecting key GED processes, and implementing quality improvement processes. It ends with a roadmap for seeking successful accreditation of your GED by the American College of Emergency Physicians. 

In summary, our book is an easy-to-read, evidence- and experience -informed, practical guide to improve Emergency Departments' care of older people. It speaks directly to ED clinicians and administrators, hospital administrators and leaders, and system change leaders who need practical tips to implement improvements in their ED care of older people. The guidance provided is appropriate across heterogeneous ED settings (e.g., large and small, urban and rural, high- and low-resource settings) as well as U.S.-based and international EDs. The focus is on driving the improvement of ED care for older people. 

Bio: Don Melady, BA, MSc(Ed), MD, CCFP(EM)(COE), FCFP   is a staff Emergency Physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He has certificates of added competence in both Emergency Medicine and Care of the Elderly and is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto and the director of a fellowship in Geriatric Emergency Medicine based at the Schwartz-Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute (SREMI).  He’s the founding chair of the Geriatric EM Committee at the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians and  the International Federation of Emergency Medicine.  

Bio: John G. Schumacher is a medical sociologist/social gerontologist and associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Public Health at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).  He holds a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).  He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and served on the board of the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (AGEM) in the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).  His research for the past 25 years has focused on emergency physician-older patient interactions and the systematic study of geriatric emergency departments (GEDs).