Background: In 2014, the Geriatric Emergency Department (GED) Guidelines were published and endorsed by four major medical organizations. The multidisciplinary GED Guidelines characterized the complex needs of the older emergency department (ED) patient and current best practices, with the goal of promoting more cost-effective and patient-centered care. The recommendations are extensive and most EDs then and now have neither the resources nor the hospital administrative support to provide this additional service. Discussion: At the 2021 American Academy of Emergency Medicine's Scientific Assembly, a panel of emergency physicians and geriatricians discussed the GED Guidelines and the current realities of EDs’ capacity to provide best practice and guideline–recommended care of GED patients. This article is a synthesis of the panel's presentation and discussion. With the substantial challenges in providing guideline-recommended care in EDs, this article will explore three high-impact GED clinical conditions to highlight guideline recommendations, challenges, and opportunities, and discuss realistically achievable expectations for non–GED-accredited institutions. Conclusions: In 2014, the GED Guidelines were published, describing the current best practices for GED patients. Unfortunately, most of the EDs worldwide do not provide the level of service recommended by the GED Guidelines. The GED Guidelines can best be termed aspirational for U.S. EDs at the present time.
- emergency medicine
- geriatric emergency department