But if you believe that moving from volume to value generally will pay benefits for your hospital or health system as healthcare reform matures, developing such a program seems like a no-brainer. The benefits to the patient are unquestionable, given Summa's results. For improving patient care and satisfaction, it's a clear win.
But first, let's take a look at the program itself and the findings of a two-month study. Scott Wilber, MD, medical director of senior emergency care and director of emergency medicine research at Summa, says the health system has been thinking about adding a senior track to its ED for years. The idea germinated from the health system's ACE (acute care for the elderly) unit, which started in the 1990's, when Wilber was a resident.
"About five years ago, we started talking about the idea of a geriatric ED," he says. By fall of 2012, coincident with an $85 million, system-wide ED renovation program, the geriatric ED was operational.
And the results are promising. Based on a two-month study comparing January 23–March 23, 2013 with the same period a year prior, the program: