NICHE: Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders

A June 29, 2010 article, Preparing More Care for the Elderly, appeared in the New York Times. Written by Milt Freudenheim, who generally writes about the business aspects of health care, the piece describes how the country and our health care system can go about preparing for the huge number of people who are aging.

The most compelling part of the Times article came near the end when Fredenheim described the NICHE program at the New York University and the University of Alabama hospitals. NICHE stands for Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders; its mission is to make hospitals senior friendly. More than 300 hospitals are currently involved with the program, and visitors to the organization’s website can search for a participating institution in the NICHE Network.

NICHE states the following on its website.

  • Started in 1992, Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) is the only national geriatric initiative to improve the care of older hospitalized adults.
  • NICHE is a program of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing.
  • NICHE provides the structure to develop, implement, and sustain system wide improvement in care of older adult patients.

Also at the NICHE organization website is a geriatric issues encyclopedia with sections on falls, delirium, geriatric models of care, assessments, and much more. Each general section links to definitions, explanations, and resources, and more resources will be uploaded on a regular basis.

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