Geriatric Emergency Department

On February 17, 2012, the Mount Sinai Department of Emergency Medicine opened New York City’s first Geriatric Emergency Department (Geriatric ED). Ula Hwang, MD, MPH brings together the resources and expertise of Mount Sinai’s Department of Emergency Medicine and the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.

Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to providing emergency care specifically tailored to the needs of elderly patients as well as improving overall care for Geriatric ED patients. We employ assessment and initial care coordination for high-risk patients. This includes early identification of patients over 65 years old who are at risk for delirium, display functional and cognitive decline or have fallen.

The Mount Sinai Geriatric ED has 14 treatment spaces and amenities designed to reduce delirium-provoking environmental stimuli, fall risk, and improve communication for the hearing and visually impaired. This includes decreased ambient noise and modified lighting with a “skylight” to simulate sunlight during the day and dim lighting at night to promote sleep and maintain circadian rhythms.

For added patient safety, we have installed nonskid flooring and handrails throughout the unit. Finally, to enhance safety and comfort and to reduce disorientation and anxiety we make available:

  • Large clocks
  • Reading glasses
  • Hearing devices
  • Pressure-reducing mattresses
  • iPads to facilitate communication with the nursing staff

As one of the first academic centers to develop a Geriatric ED, Mount Sinai is poised to become a leader in Geriatric Emergency Medicine clinical care, research, education and innovation.