Dr. John Owen

LIBERTY — Liberty Hospital’s Emergency Department has achieved Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians by exceeding best practices in caring for older adults. The hospital is one of only four hospitals in the state to earn this certification and the only hospital in Missouri to attain this accreditation as well as that of Level II Time Critical Diagnosis in trauma, stroke and heart attack.

“This special designation means we are prepared to meet the needs of senior adults,” Dr. John Owen, vice president of emergency medicine, said. “Our combined accreditations in geriatric emergency medicine and trauma, stroke and STEMI (heart attack) demonstrate our unique ability to provide the most critical of urgently needed services at all times for our community.”

The number of people age 65 and older visiting emergency departments nationwide rose by more than 27 percent from 2005 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 30,000 senior adults live in Clay County, and more than 30 percent of Liberty Hospital’s emergency department visitors are seniors.

“Seniors in Clay County and the surrounding area can rest assured they will receive high-quality care in a positive and age-friendly physical environment with appropriate resources and follow-up,” Tina Uridge, executive director of Clay County Senior Services, said.

GEDA is a voluntary program that uses a three-level system similar to that of trauma center designations. ACEP, the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, the Emergency Nurses Association and the American Geriatrics Society developed guidelines in 2014 to improve and standardize emergency care for older patients. More information on the levels of accreditation are available at acep.org.

In May 2019, Liberty Hospital was named by the state’s Time Critical Diagnosis System as a Level II Center in trauma, stroke and STEMI by demonstrating a high level of proficiency and care, with specially trained staff available 24 hours a day to provide treatment for these medical emergencies.

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