Florida hospital opens emergency room for seniors

Feb 04, 2018
  • By Marci Shatzman
  • Sun Sentinel
Assistant Emergency Center director Tracey Brown in West Boca Medical Center’s new Senior ER. (Marci Shatzman/Sun Sentinel/TNS)

West Boca Medical Center in Florida just opened a new emergency room specifically for seniors, and less than a month later, two of its four beds were filled during a recent visit.

The facility opened Nov. 13 just off the hospital’s main emergency room. It’s designed to have a cozier, less busy atmosphere, said Tracey Brown, assistant director for the emergency center.

There are lower beds with thicker mattresses, a softer ivory paint on the walls, non-skid flooring and art designed to make the space look less institutional.

It’s much quieter, too. “There’s no binging monitors or phones ringing,” Brown said.

Larger and higher chairs are designed to accommodate people with mobility issues. “Some of our patients have had hip replacements and it’s much easier and safer for them to get in and out of the chair,” she said.

Brown compared the new ER to the medical center’s specially designed pediatric facility. Seniors are “a part of the community we serve and a big part of our patients,” she said. “It’s more sensitive to their needs.”

Before the changeover, Brown researched out to senior emergency rooms around the country, then visited the Senior Care ER at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, another Tenet Healthcare hospital.