The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing recently designated Hudson Valley Hospital Center as one of the country’s 300 NICHE hospitals. NICHE or Nursing Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders is the only national geriatric initiative to improve care of older hospitalized adults.
To receive the designation the Hospital had to develop a program that treats older people with compassion, keeps their health from deteriorating and works with their families to prepare patients for leaving the hospital. The Hospital’s NICHE team also had to participate in a six-week leadership training program and develop a robust action plan to incorporate improved geriatric care throughout the hospital. HVHC is the only NICHE designated hospital in Westchester/
Suzanne Mateo, chair of HVHC’s NICHE team, said that the Hospital was still in the early stages of implementing the program. Other members of the NICHE team are Liza Jones-Kanu, BSN, MSN, Clinical Nurse Manager (CNM) and Maggie Adler, BSN, RN-BC Standards Coordinator.
“The challenge will now be to incorporate the NICHE philosophy to all areas of the Hospital, and to better coordinate care for older adults,’’ she said. “More than 60 percent of our inpatients at HVHC are over 65 so that applies to a majority of our patients.’’
People over 65 are the fastest growing age group in the nation, making up 12.9 percent of the population or about 1 in 8 people in the United States. By 2030, estimates are that there will be about 72.1 million older adults, according to U.S. Census data.
Some of the challenges that face nursing staff caring for older adults include making sure that patients receive mental stimulation and exercise to prevent their deterioration and working to reduce stress and anxiety during their hospital stay. The NICHE network offers Hospital staff training and shares best practices that can help them better care for older adults.
Other NICHE designated hospitals in New York are Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York University Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation.
# # #
Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt Manor. NY provides quality, comprehensive medical care and state-of-the-