Hilton Head Hospital gets new ER for senior citizens

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - Hilton Head Hospital is looking to better serve the population on the island, and that means beefing up its geriatric services, including the creation of a brand new emergency room just for senior citizens.

From the colors of the walls and floors to help with visuals to the height and comfort of the bed, this emergency room is specifically designed to cater to the geriatric population.

"We saw 24,000 visits in the emergency room last year, and 40 percent of those encompassed folks who were 65 years of age or older, so we recognized the need to provide some specialized services for the geriatric population," said Dr. Brett Cargill, Staff ER Physician, Hilton Head Hospital.

Specialized services includes decorations to help with visuals and beds to keep patients comfy during longer stays.

"It starts at triage where our triage will a use geriatric screening to identify patients who may really benefit from the senior ER, and then one of the things is a lift to help patients with mobility issues," said Jeremy Clark, CEO, Hilton Head Hospital.

The new ER costs the hospital about $1 million, but it's a small price to pay for its big impact.

"They do represent a unique set of clinical challenges. Their encounters are more complex, medication interactions, co-morbid conditions, heart disease, kidney disease that makes even the simplest visits more complicated," Dr. Cargill said.

This is the sixth senior emergency room in the state and the only one in the Lowcountry.

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