Northwest Community Hospital Achieves NICHE “Senior Friendly” Status for Older Adult Patient Care

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Dec. 3, 2012) – Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) was recently designated a “Senior Friendly” hospital for its NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program, acknowledging the hospital’s alignment with the needs of the community’s older adult population.

NICHE is a premier designation indicating a hospital’s commitment to excellence in the care of patients 65-years and older. NCH has been NICHE designated since 2007, but this September was awarded with the second highest program level after a rigorous self-evaluation of the geriatric program. The “Senior Friendly” status recognizes the hospital’s program as having implemented a Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model; implemented aging-sensitive policies; and included the input of patient, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives.

“Through the participation in the NICHE program we are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for the older adults.” said Julia Knight, geriatric CNS and NICHE coordinator. “The ‘Senior Friendly’ status illustrates our continual progression with the program’s initiatives and our commitment to the elderly.”

Additional geriatric programs are currently underway at NCH including AgeWISE, improving learning and outcomes for end of life care for older adults; LINCT (Liaisons in Nursing Care Transitions), working to create smooth transitions between care for older adults; and Silver Spoons, a group of volunteers who feed elderly patients who have difficulties feeding themselves.

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