CVPH has taken a significant step in enhancing the care of older adults by adopting the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program.
Patients age 65 and older often have complex health care needs that need to be addressed with specialized care promoting function, autonomy and dignity. In 2016, 73% of CVPH’s medical/surgical patient population was 65 years‐old or older.
What is NICHE?
NICHE is "Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders" (NICHE) program. NICHE, a nurse‐driven initiative, uses evidence based protocols to address issues specific to the older adult patients, improving outcomes and increasing patient and family satisfaction levels.
Established in 1992, NICHE is the only national nursing geriatric initiative to improve the care of older hospitalized adults and is comprised of over 680 hospitals throughout North America.
The NICHE program provides the care team with the tools to stimulate and sustain changes in the culture of the hospital to provide patient-centered care for older adults. It was launched on CVPH's R7 medical surgical unit and will be introduced on other nursing units incrementally.
The key to NICHE's success are nurses on site who have completed NICHE's geriatric resource nurse training and serve as resources for the team, offering education and support. Helping families to understand the importance of their role in caring for the older patient is another component of NICHE. Nurses can provide resources to the family to help them better navigate the hospital experience and support their loved ones as they transition from home to hospital and home again.
What This Means For You
The nursing team taking care of you or your loved one is highly educated in identifying, interpreting and applying best practices to optimize care outcomes for patients 65 year and older. These practices include pain management, preventing adverse medication events, fall prevention and other concerns unique to patients age 65 and older.