For innovative, compassionate work in providing reliable, evidence-based care to improve the lives of older adults, ChristianaCare has been recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Patricia Curtin, M.D., FACP, CMD

The recognition, also given by the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association, places ChristianaCare in a class with nearly 300 leading health systems across the nation that consistently provide high-quality care to older adults.

“When we design care in a way that addresses the specific needs of older adults, we create a better experience and better outcomes for everyone involved,” said Patricia Curtin, M.D., FACP, CMD, chief of Geriatric Medicine at ChristianaCare. “Our participation in the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is an important part of our overarching vision to provide every older adult with the best care possible.”

Age-friendly health systems address four high level areas of focus that are considered essential to ensure that older adults receive the best care possible. The framework is known as the “4Ms” which stand for:

  • What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences.
  • Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat and manage dementia, depression and delirium across settings of care.
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function.
  • Medication: If medication is necessary, use age-friendly medication that does not interfere with mentation, mobility and what matters to the older adult.
Expert caregivers create a better experience and better outcomes by partnering with patients to understand what is important to them on their health journey.

The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative was launched in 2017 by The John A. Hartford Foundation and IHI with a commitment to make 20% of hospitals and health systems in the United States age-friendly by 2020.

ChristianaCare has shared its evidence-based interventions and successes in age-friendly care with other institutions throughout the country. In addition to Christiana Hospital and Wilmington Hospital, seven ChristianaCare primary care practices were recognized as Age Friendly by the coalition:

  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at Carney’s Point.
  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at Greenville.
  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at Hockessin.
  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at Limestone.
  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at MAP II.
  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at New Castle.
  • ChristianaCare Primary Care at Springside.

Exemplar recognition by Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders

ChristianaCare also has been recognized for the seventh consecutive year as an “Exemplar” site by Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE), a nursing education and consultation program to improve geriatric care in health care organizations.

ChristianaCare’s ACE units improve clinical outcomes in older patients by preventing complications and preserving patients’ functional ability.
Denise Lyons, DNP, APRN, AGCNS-BC

ChristianaCare’s multidisciplinary effort to improve care for older patients in all settings, known as the We Improve Senior Health (WISH) Program, is derived from NICHE.

ChristianaCare offers a broad spectrum of programs and services to help older adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. These programs include wellness classes that help older adults avoid falls, adult day care programs that offer leisure and learning activities, and the Swank Center for Memory Care and Geriatric Consultation, Delaware’s only comprehensive outpatient office for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or related memory disorders and their families. And ChristianaCare’s Evergreen Center Adult Day Program provides a safe, caring home away from home for seniors or other individuals who may be limited due to dementia.

ChristianaCare’s Independence at Home program makes house calls to people who cannot leave their home while ChristianaCare HomeHealth provides skilled nursing care and home health aides to help older adults and people of all ages manage chronic conditions, cope with new diagnoses and better manage daily living tasks.

Older adult patients at Christiana Hospital and Wilmington Hospital can receive care on ChristianaCare’s Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Units, which improve clinical outcomes in older patients by preventing complications and preserving the patients’ functional ability.

“ChristianaCare has always been at the forefront of excellent patient care, and this is another opportunity for us to advance care for our neighbors who are seniors,” said Denise Lyons, DNP, APRN, AGCNS-BC, a board-certified adult/gerontological clinical nurse specialist at ChristianaCare. “We look forward to both sharing our best practices and learning what’s working for others and providing every older adult with the best care possible.”

For more information, visit the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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