Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Cutting Edge Emergency Room

I was driving to work this morning, listening to NPR like I usually do, when a most interesting story came on. It was about an emergency room built especially for seniors, so of course I listened with extra interest ( you can find the text of the story at

This ER is at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD. One reason the hospital decided to build this special ER is because according to a federal survey, only infants go to emergency rooms at a higher rate than those over age 75. This was a new statistic to me, but not surprising. I do know that people over age 65 use other health care services at a much higher rate than the rest of us, so it only stands to reason that this is true of emergency rooms.

One quote from the story that had me cheering was made by geriatrician Bill Thomas, who helped design the ER. He said, "Good care for older people teaches us how to take good care of everybody." I could not agree more!

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