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Hospitals earn NICHE Exemplar status for senior care

Tuesday December 4, 2012
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Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders recently released a list of nine hospitals that have achieved Exemplar status for the progress of their nurse-driven programs in raising the level of quality in care of older adult patients.

Exemplar is the highest of four levels of recognition. Progressing through Early Implementation, Progressive and Senior Friendly levels to achieve the Exemplar designation indicates a hospital has demonstrated ongoing, high-level dedication to geriatric care and preeminence in the implementation and quality of system-wide interventions and initiatives, according to a NICHE news release.

NICHE hospitals that have achieved Exemplar status are: Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Christiana Hospital, Newark, Del.; Lakeland (Fla.) Regional Medical Center; Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno, Nev.; Saint Mary’s Health Care, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Schneck Medical Center, Seymour, Ind.; Trinity Hospital of Augusta (Ga.); University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (N.J.); and Wilmington (Del.) Hospital.

The NICHE annual program self-evaluation is used by hospitals to determine the level of their NICHE program. The evaluation measures program progress year-to-year, targets future care initiatives and provides data to use in gaining and sustaining support from institution stakeholders.

The Exemplar status was assigned following this self-evaluation process. Requirements include implementation of the NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse model and evidence-based protocols on all applicable units, including specialty units; implementation of systemic aging-sensitive policies; inclusion of the input of patients, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives; and assumption of regional and national leadership roles.

"These hospitals showed a tremendous commitment to meet the most critical challenge of our times — quality care of older adults," Liz Capezuti, RN, PhD, FAAN, director of NICHE and a professor at the New York University College of Nursing, said in a news release. "The hospitals’ dedication to drive continuous improvement processes and enhance care marks them as leaders in the field."

The NICHE hospital member designation, which starts with the NICHE Leadership Training Program, signals a resolve to provide patient-centered care for older adults. Through participation NICHE hospitals are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences and improved care for older adults, according to the news release. This ability leads to greater satisfaction rates for patients, their families and staff.

NICHE (www.nicheprogram.org) is an international program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. Its mission is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. Based at NYU College of Nursing, NICHE consists of over 400 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America.


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