Christiana Care earns recognition for exemplary care of older adults

Christiana Care Health System has earned Exemplar status for the third consecutive year for the care it provides to older adults under the national NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program. NICHE sites can be found in 47 states across the nation and in five other countries, totaling over 670 sites. Christiana Care is the only hospital in Delaware to achieve the award and one of only 82 nationwide.

Christiana Care established the We Improve Senior Health program (WISH), which is based on the NICHE program, in 2001. The program is led by Denise L. Lyons, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, FNGNA, and Patricia M. Curtin, M.D., FACP, CMD. It is a collaborative effort among nurses, physicians, pharmacists, rehabilitative therapists, social workers, dietitians and other health care providers to improve the care that Christiana Care delivers to senior patients in all settings. Christiana Care earned Exemplar status — the highest of four possible program levels — by undergoing a rigorous survey.

The requirements for achieving Exemplar status include:

  • Implementation of the Senior Health Resource Team (SHRT) model and evidence-based protocols on all applicable units, including specialty units.
  • Implementation of systemic aging-sensitive policies.
  • Inclusion of the input of patients, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of initiatives.
  • Assuming regional and national leadership roles.