VA North Texas’ Dallas Medical Center Emergency Department treats over 22,000 Veterans over the age of 65 each year. Two-thirds of these Veterans leave with a new prescription.

To better improve care for geriatric Veterans, VA North Texas launched a new initiative known as EQUiPPED, or the Enhancing Quality of Provider Practices for Older Adults in the Emergency Department.

“EQUiPPED is a quality improvement program focused on medication safety for older adults discharged from the Emergency Department,” said Dr. Stephen Burgher, chief of emergency medicine service at VA North Texas.

New dashboard helps physicians

Physicians treating Veterans in the emergency department often prescribe their patients with a new medication before discharge. The new dashboard in EQUiPPED allows physicians to quickly access information on medications potentially harmful to older patients, allowing for the safest options. Certain medications prescribed to a healthy middle-aged adult might not have the same effect as if prescribed to a geriatric. The result would avoid potentially inappropriate medications.

EQUiPPED has a large informatics piece to it, an order menu and recommended medications with appropriate doses for geriatric patients.

“What EQUiPPED represents is the quality improvement of this mission,” said Dr. Rohit Manaktala, VA North Texas’ Section Chief of Quality Training and Education for the Emergency Department. “This new program will educate our providers who are used to providing in a much more age diverse group and alter their practice patterns and more importantly their prescribing patterns to cater to the geriatric population.”

VA North Texas is one of eight VA sites approved for EQUiPPED, and one of 12 VA-wide since 2012.

“We are all really excited to get EQUiPPED fully implemented here,” said Jaimie Ostrom, VA North Texas ED Clinical Nurse. “I think it’s really going to change and revolutionize geriatric emergency medicine nursing care.”

Jennifer Roy is a public affairs specialist with VA North Texas Health Care System.

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Published on Sep. 29, 2019

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 130


  1. Traci Fant September 30, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I agree with man with a plan. It’s sounds to me that the VA is giving labels again making everyone in said group a generalization and we will be hearing of the fatal effects soon enough. We are vets and individuals. With that we need our individual medical need. And what about those of us looking at a less big pharma guinea pig sort of medical plan? A more preventive medicine plan? I’ve been going to VA since 1985 and I have drastically seen the decline of preventive care, and A lot of last minute over medicated and drastic care. The VA has become a political entity with too many special interest groups to count, and I truly believe the best of what should be given, is superseded by too much government. And the only people who care about vets are Vets and the families who suffer with them or who has already loss someone. They have no interest in taking care of those who need a ” welcome back to society” as to ” we’re done with you now,here’s your DD214, cya wouldn’t want to be you!” And btw you can only get medical for 5 yrs, too bad so sad!
    How does that work?
    I made this a mini series, simply VA sucks cuz it’s truly a government entity now that can be bought and sold, and veterans will never get what we need until WE become more proactive in our own care nationwide. And we don’t need any stinking organizations! WE ARE THE STRONGEST OF ORGANIZATION WE ARE VETERANS WE CAN AND WILL SPEAK FOR OURSELVES OR WE WILL NEVER GET WHAT WE RIGHTLY DESERVE!

  2. Man With Plan September 29, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    VA doctors should have already known how to prescribe meds to older veterans. They are supposed to be DOCTORS. Did they fail Med school? (But still good enough for the VA to hire as “DOCTORS”!) The VA will never change. Same s**t on a different day.

    • Richard HenleyThis September 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      This has nothing to do with this article but the VA hires done of the most inept doctor’s. They don’t care about to the veterans they just want a second retirement. The are two at the VA in Columbia SC that have ratings of 2 and 3.7 out if 5. We should be getting the best doctor’s but we have to settle for leftovers.

  3. Roger O'Dell September 29, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Sounds like an effective, much-needed program. Suggest that it be rolled out across the board.

  4. Daniel L Kibbee September 29, 2019 at 11:02 am

    As a older Veteran now, I have seen care be great and I have seen great negligence. To be confident the Dept of Veterans Affairs will have a place for me is still 50/50. Be There for us older folks.

  5. Linda Duncan Spear September 29, 2019 at 10:21 am

    What an exciting new aspect to VA care, it’s presents a whole health care circle around my Vet husband, and that care will become seamless between and prompt between illness and proper medication.

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