The Journey Of Geriatric Emergency Medicine: Acceleration, Diffusion, And Collaboration As Keys To Continued Growth

From Health Affairs:

EDs need access to the wealth of research and innovation on senior-appropriate acute care, and with more than 5,000 EDs operating across the United States that is no small feat. The diffusion of innovations theory, which has a long history in the social sciences, helps explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology can spread. While not without its critics, the theory remains widely recognized and has been applied to a variety of real-world challenges, including health care. At its core, the theory relies on three basic principles central to successful adoption of innovations: First is the perception of the innovation, notably the perceived benefit of change. Second are the characteristics driving those who adopt innovation (or fail to do so). And third, contextual factors such as communication, incentives, and leadership also encourage or potentially discourage how innovations get disseminated.

A new collaborative announced today known as the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative (GEDC) is demonstrating promising progress across all three of these principles. Supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and managed by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), the GEDC is bringing together professional societies with a vested interest in older adult care—the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the AGS, the Emergency Nurses Association, and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine—as well as hospitals and health systems across the United States. Early GEDC member sites—Aurora Health Care System (Wisconsin), Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital (Georgia), Magee Women’s Hospital (Pennsylvania), Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York), Northwestern University (Illinois), St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center New Jersey), University of California, San Diego Health, the University of Chicago (Illinois), and the University of North Carolina—all represent early adopters within geriatric emergency medicine.

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