"Around 30 organizations have developed [a] senior ED program similar to us," Wilber says.
Senior ED programs can take on a lot of different characteristics, but the physical plant is not the best part of the equation, he stresses. Instead, it's the alternatives for delivery of care that can provide the most benefit to the patient.
Wilber presented detailed findings of Summa's experience with the senior ED program in October at the American College of Emergency Physicians' annual conference in Seattle, and he and his team are putting together a white paper now that he expects will serve as a prescription for what developing a senior ED program will entail.
"The most important thing for leaders to know is that it is more than just changing the physical plant," he says. "Education and thought and planning on how to do things differently is where you get results. Across the country, ED physicians are ready to embrace this new role and each place will be a little different in how they do these things."