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Nurses with a mission: Send older ER patients home with help

February 2, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — The newest thing in emergency medicine is not an amazing device: Instead, it’s a new approach to older patients that helps them stay out of the hospital.

Specially trained nurses in the emergency room quiz older patients and, when possible, arrange help for them at home. That prevents unneeded hospital stays and a host of potential problems that can make older patients sicker.

Early research at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital shows it’s working to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.

About 100 hospitals in the United States have opened geriatric emergency departments or trained ER teams in geriatrics care.

With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, it’s one way hospitals are adapting for a graying population.