GEDI nurses have been launched at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH), mobile phone at the ready, and skills honed to protect frail and elderly patients from delays in admission for specialist care in our clinical universe.
Geriatric Emergency Department Initiative (GEDI) champion Dr Terry Nash, said specialised care for elderly patients is an ever-evolving service at the PAH.
“Various initiatives for older patients already exist at PAH such as CARE-PACT and CHIP nurse teams; however, the GEDI program offers us the opportunity to build on this.
“The GEDI team includes a clinical nurse, doctor, geriatrician, pharmacist and a designated educator who will continue to roll out this improved geriatric care pathway throughout the hospital admission,” he said.
“Our GEDI geriatrician is also providing access to a hot-clinic two days a week at the PAH.”
Launched Queensland-wide in July, the GEDI program focusses on optimising care for frail patients who are over the age of 75 (over 55 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients) coming through hospital Emergency Departments from the community setting.
GEDI Clinical Nurse, Tricia West, has been involved in geriatric care at PAH for several years and said there is quite a difference between those patients coming from Residential Aged Care Facilities and those from independent living in the community.
“The introduction of the GEDI service at PAH has enabled us to improve the specialised care available in our ED for elderly patients who come from the community setting,” she said.
There are a variety of extra factors to be considered for these older patients coming to ED.
“Patients over the age of 75 generally required more hands-on care, especially in reviewing their previous medical records and assessing the human factors such as whether there is someone in the community relying on them like a spouse or even a pet.
“Through this program, we are able to also focus more attention on the complexities of the patient and ensure best care to avoid further presentations at ED.”
The GEDI program is a state funded initiative to fast track care, improve care coordination with other clinical professionals, fast-track inpatient care, and reduce the need for hospital admission or readmission for elderly patients living within the community.