Senior-Friendly Emergency Department Course: A sharing experience

January 20th was an incredible day. Firs of all, it was sunny in Vancouver and I could see the mountains from my hotel room. But most importantly, I spent the day with a team of expert in geriatric emergency medicine and 140 motivated and eager health care professionals who wished to know and to do more.

The aim of this one-day course, or I think we should say workshop at this point, was to get all the tools to develop and implement geriatric emergency medicine projects.

I was supposed to be there to help the faculty with the teaching part. I got to participate in a “Quality improvement” not so boring presentation, I facilitate a case-based discussion, I coached 3 teams about their project and I was part of the “buffet” presentations on efficiency of an interdisciplinary team, It turned out that I learned more than I thought and taught!

Those 140 health care professionals were not only interested in geri-em, but was already doing very interesting work in their own way. A team in Nanaimo has a “Rapid discharge unit” were older adults can go if they need the interdisciplinary team the next day. Another team has a discharge form for efficient communication. In Vancouver, they have a transitional team (mostly interdisciplinary team) and they have a ED based outreach team that can do follow ups. In New York, they have a strong relationship with volunteers. Those are just a sample of what I heard.

What stroke me the most was that even if they are already doing good things in geriatric emergency medicine, they want to better, they want to do more!

The community of geriatric emergency medicine has a strong team spirit. We have (I think at this point I will say we!) a strong commitment to our older adults and most importantly we want it to be spread, shared, and even stolen! “Please steal”, I heard once at the ACE collaborative national meeting.

I am very proud to be part of this community.

Now, this course has been done once in Toronto, once in Winnipeg, once in Melbourne and once in Vancouver. We are motivated, ready, and very excited! Where do you want us next?

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