Stanford Hosiptal & Clinics has achieved "Senior Friendly" status for its NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program. NICHE is the premier designation indicating a hospital's commitment to excellence in the care of patients who are 65 years and older. The "Senior Friendly" status recognizes Stanford's NICHE program for having implemented the NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model and aging-sensitive policies, as well as for having included input from patients, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives.
The "Senior Friendly" status was assigned following a rigorous self-evaluation of the current state and future goals of the NICHE program at Stanford.
"To be able to implement best practices for the care of aging adults at Stanford is indeed so gratifying," said Rita Ghatak, PhD, director of the Aging Adult Services Program. "With the promise of longevity upon us, improving the care of aging adults is now an imperative. This recognition demonstrates that Stanford is making the care for aging adults a priority."
SHC's Aging Adult Services Program (AAS) was created in 2006 to address issues related to aging and to offer a "continuum of care" model in outpatient, home, inpatient and sub-acute settings. With its staff of elder-care experts and geriatricians, AAS has recognized and addressed the needs and concerns of aging adults and their families in the hospital, clinics and home. As a part of developing services for aging adults, Stanford has invested in intensive work to become certified as a NICHE hospital. Training of in-patient RN's is ongoing and being done by the nursing department and AAS.
"Achieving 'Senior Friendly' status is a wonderful recognition and it signals our commitment to provide compassionate, patient-centered care for older adults," said Nancy Lee, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. "The NICHE program allows us to have trained professionals who understand complexities among aging adults and are able to provide geriatric best practices for wellness, prevention and ongoing care coordination."
NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is an international program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65-and-over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of health care facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. NICHE, based at NYU College of Nursing, consists of over 400 hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America. For more information, visit www.nicheprogram.org.