Geriatric Emergency Management, or GEM, is a program that provides specialized frailty focused nursing services in Emergency Departments.
In recent years, several hospitals in Ontario have explored the value of GEM services. In 2003, the MOHLTC asked the Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario to place a GEM nurse in eight additional hospitals and to evaluate their contribution to the health and well-being of seniors.
Seniors represent as many as 30% of the patients seen in Emergency Departments, more than any other age group. Illness complexity, hospital admission rates, lengths of stay and risk of functional decline are also highest for seniors. Indeed, emergency department visits are often sentinel events for seniors, threatening loss of independence, health and well-being. By providing specialized frailty friendly services in Emergency Departments, decline and loss of independence can often be prevented or postponed.