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A Leader in Improving Care for Older Adults

One of 10 hospitals in Illinois to earn the NICHE designation.

Oak Park, IL (February 1, 2013) — Rush Oak Park Hospital is now one of 10 hospitals in Illinois to have earned New York University College of Nursing’s Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) designation.

Most patients at Rush Oak Park Hospital are 65 or older, and caring for this patient population has long been a priority. Primary care physicians specializing in geriatric medicine seek to help adults through the changes that come with aging, taking into account not only medical issues but other underlying concerns—for instance, social, financial or mental—that can impact overall health. Through Age-WISE, doctors and nurses offer free community outreach and education on topics of particular interest to older adults. Now, through the NICHE program, Rush Oak Park Hospital’s goal is to be recognized as a leader in holistic health care that’s sensitive to the unique needs of older adults across the continuum of care. As part of that goal, it has committed to practicing evidence-based care centered on the patient and family.

“The NICHE designation reflects our vision to create a culture of high-quality care that promotes healthy aging, dignity and well-being in order to support older adults to stay as independent as possible for as long as possible in every respect: physically, cognitively, spiritually and socially,” says Karen Mayer, RN, MSN, MHA, FACHE, vice president, Patient Care Services.

Nurses can access many resources focused on excellence in geriatric care through the NICHE program’s training and assessment tools, support and mentoring, and evidence-based clinical protocols. The Skilled Care and Rehabilitation units currently are implementing pilot projects that reflect the overarching goals of NICHE, including enhancing patient safety, lessening the stressors associated with care transitions, and promoting health and better life choices.

“As a part of NICHE, we join other hospitals in the leading nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. Utilizing the education and tools provided as part of the program, our nurses will be better able to provide sensitive and exemplary care. Participation in NICHE also gives us many opportunities to share our successes with others as well as learn from their achievements,” says Cinnamon Bell-Williams, RN, MSN, CRRN, director, Skilled Care and Medical-Surgical units.

Established in 1992, NICHE aims to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit hospitalized older patients. For more information on NICHE, please go to www.nicheprogram.org.

For more information, please contact Emily Dagostino in Marketing and Communications at 708-660-3644.