Sarah Bush Lincoln is enhancing the quality of care for older adults and providing support for their families.

The Health Center was recently named a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) member, which means the organization is devoted to providing patient-centered care for older adults. Through NICHE, SBL nurses and caregivers are working to provide evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for older adults.

“Sarah Bush Lincoln is committed to providing exemplary care to older adults and this program enables us to continually improve the quality of care that we offer our senior population,” SBL’s NICHE program coordinator Bruce Morgan, RN, said. Other members of SBL’s NICHE leadership team include Clinical Instructor Cassie Earnst and Nursing Supervisor Jen Isbell.

Six nurses are initially being trained to earn the geriatric resource nurse designation and additional educational opportunities will be introduced over the next year for nursing staff members to implement the latest, evidence-based nursing protocols.

Upon implementation of NICHE, hospitals report that there is enhanced nursing knowledge and skills regarding treatment of common geriatric syndromes, greater patient satisfaction, decreased length of stay for elderly patients, reductions in readmission rates, increases in the length of time between re-admissions, and reductions in costs associated with hospital care for the elderly.

NICHE is an international nurse-driven organization designed to help hospitals raise the level of care for older adults through the education of nurses and other staff in best practice models. It is the premier designation indicating a hospital’s commitment to excellence in the care of people 65 years and older.

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