New Senior Emergency Center at Atrium Medical Center expands services for older adults

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- A new Senior Emergency Center opens Thursday for patients at Atrium Medical Center, offering a new screening and follow-up process to help improve the medical care of older adults at the hospital’s Emergency Trauma Center.

An eight-bed unit of the already existing Emergency Trauma Center at Atrium has been renovated for more safety features for older adults such as additional railings on the walls and non-skid floors. Other features such as adjustable temperature settings and lighting in each private room are also meant to make the hospital visit more comfortable and less intimidating.

The Senior Emergency Center introduces a new process of care including specially-trained staff, screening and follow-ups after discharge to improve the quality of life of patients 65 and older. The new program’s processes — a unique service for Cincinnati-area hospitals — could help reduce incidents after leaving Atrium’s Emergency Trauma Center that might cause older patients to return to the hospital soon after going home.

“We think projects like the Senior Emergency Center that put each patient’s experience, safety and outcome front and center help us stand out,” said Michael Uhl, president of Atrium Medical Center, in a news release. “Not only does this service give patients another reason to choose Atrium Medical Center, but the Senior Emergency Center will help us improve the quality of service we offer to our elders and, we hope, reduce their readmission rates after an older adult leaves the emergency room thanks to the follow-up monitoring they may receive.”

The Senior Emergency Center will help meet the needs of a growing demographic of aging patients in Butler and Warren counties. Persons age 65 and older in Butler County have grown from 11.5 percent of the population in 2010 to 13.6 percent of the population in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In neighboring Warren County, persons age 65 and older grew from 10.8 percent of the county’s total population in 2010 to 13.5 percent last year, also according to the Census Bureau.

“Navigating the health care system can be scary, frustrating, and difficult to do,” said Dr. David Romano, an emergency physician at Atrium Medical Center, in a news release. “We are excited to introduce this new clinical program to enhance the health care of our seniors by using a series of special screenings, coordinating the various aspects of their care upon discharge, and improving communication between their health practitioners.”

Atrium is the first Premier Health hospital to offer specialized senior emergency care and the service has the potential to be expanded to other Premier Health sites.

“So many people who are ultimately admitted to a hospital first come through the emergency department. With this center, Atrium and Premier Health are demonstrating we have the best interests of our region’s senior citizens at heart,” said Mary Boosalis, president and chief executive officer of Premier Health, in a news release. “We think this could make a difference in the care of more than 7,500 emergency department patients in one year just at this facility.”

Atrium Medical Center Foundation launched in the fall of 2016 a campaign to fund renovations and service improvements for the project. Thanks to generous donors, more than $750,000 has been raised to date.

“When we came into the Middletown community, we wanted to be a true partner and working with the hospital to improve services for seniors made this an ideal project for us to participate in,” said Jamie Brose, director of operations for The HealthCare Management Group, which operates Arlington Pointe, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Middletown. HealthCare Management provided the lead gift for the Senior Emergency Center fundraising campaign.

Atrium Medical Center is a full-service hospital and Level III Trauma Center located along the Interstate 75 corridor at exit 32, One Medical Center Drive in Middletown, between Cincinnati and Dayton. The hospital employs more than 1,500 people in full-time, part-time and on-call positions. Atrium maintains full accreditation as Warren County’s only Level III Trauma Center, providing rapid assessment, resuscitation, initiation of appropriate treatment and ongoing care for all forms of traumatic injury.

For more information about the Senior Emergency Center, visit www.AtriumMedCenter.org/emergency.

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