St. Petersburg, FL — Responding to a growing need for more personalized emergency care for seniors, St. Petersburg General Hospital, an HCA West Florida hospital, recently opened a new emergency program tailored to its fastest-growing demographic: older adults. The Senior Care ER, part of an emerging national trend, is the first of its kind in the Tampa Bay area and among only a handful of similar facilities in Florida. Patients began using the new service in August after part of the hospital’s existing emergency department was refurbished to better accommodate the needs of seniors.
Located at 6500 38th Ave. North in St. Petersburg, the upgraded facility features:
- Four refurbished exam rooms with softer lighting and larger-screen TVs
- A private waiting area and designated parking
- Non-skid flooring for patient safety
- Pressure-reducing mattresses and more comfortable side chairs
- Hearing and visual aids
In addition, physicians and nursing staff in the Senior Care ER have received – and continue to undergo – specialized training in senior health. State-of-the-art cardiac monitoring is used, and an emphasis is placed on collaboration with patients’ primary care providers.
More than 50 U.S. hospitals have opened senior-specific emergency facilities since 2011, and at least 150 more are developing them, according to the ECRI Institute, which tracks healthcare trends. Nearly 23 percent of the population in Pinellas County is age 65 or older, according to U.S. Census Bureau data – and about 1 in 5 emergency-room patients at St. Petersburg General Hospital is 60 or older.
“We designed the Senior Care ER to meet the unique needs of our older patients in an environment focused on their comfort and safety,” said Brian Roy, D.O., an emergency physician at St. Petersburg General Hospital. “Our physicians and staff are well-equipped to treat not only immediate medical concerns, but also underlying issues that affect patients’ long-term health and wellness. We look forward to serving more of our seniors in Pinellas County with quality, compassionate care.”
For more information about the Senior Care ER, visit www.StPeteGeneral.com/seniorcare.