I read an article last week about a hospital in New Jersey that was building a wing onto their existing facility that would be specially designed for geriatric patients. The wing would have a unique design to make it safe for the elderly. Good lighting, contrasting colors between the wall and floor, telephones and remote controls with larger buttons, handrails and non-slip floors were just a few of the enhancements intended to help keep geriatric patients safe.
I’ve never been to New Jersey but based on the article the population in New Jersey must be very different than Clinton, MO. In New Jersey they must have much younger people utilizing hospital services.
In Clinton more than 65% of our inpatients are seniors. Our hospital has more elderly patients than any other age demographic. I’m going to guess most hospitals are more like ours than not which means, unless it’s a children’s hospital, the hospital serves more seniors than any other age group.
Most hospitals are geriatric hospitals with a side wing for adults, pediatrics and obstetrics. Community hospitals like ours have to be a jack of all trades. We provide care for people from one day old to one hundred years but we provide care to a lot more people from 60 to 80 than we do from 20 to 50.
Understanding who you are is important to success and understanding who you provide care to is vital for a hospital. GVMH understands our patients. We have fall prevention programs in place because we know we serve a population that is at high risk for fall. GVMH has pressure relieving mattresses on our beds because we know geriatric patients are at higher risk for skin breakdown. GVMH customizes care for each patient because we understand no two patients are alike. GVMH doesn’t have a geriatric wing because we know our patients are more likely to be geriatric than pediatric.
Fortunately for our patients GVMH works hard to create an environment that is safe and friendly for all ages but especially for seniors because, after all, that’s who uses our hospital the most.