The Geriatric-Focused Emergency Department: Opportunities and Challenges

August 1, 2022

Emergency departments are an important site of medical care for older persons and serve as a gateway to hospital entry. In the United States, persons aged 65 years and older comprise 18% of emergency department visits and a whopping 40% of emergency department-to-hospital admissions.1 The primary focus of emergency departments is acute, potentially life-threatening conditions, which has led these settings to be characterized by a restive staff mindset, limited history taking, extensive use of laboratory and radiologic tests, and a focus on rapid decision making and patient disposition.