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Cool Things

Designing a Senior-Specific ED to Improve Care

UC San Diego Health brings specialized unit design and geriatric care to new ED

The emergency room can be unfamiliar or confusing, particularly for senior patients, so UC San Diego Health created a Senior Emergency Care Unit tailored specifically to those patients’ needs.

The unit is designed to better orient patients and reduce unnecessary noise, with lights that adjust to the time of day, sound-absorbing walls and ceilings, and contrasting colors on the walls that reduce fall risk. Staff specialize in geriatric care, and family members rest in a private lounge.

“Although we have been delivering specialized senior emergency care for more than two years, the new physical space allows older adults to be cared for in an environment that better meets their needs than a traditional emergency room setting,” said Dr. Vaishal Tolia, medical director of emergency care and director of the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit at UC San Diego Health.

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