Age-Friendly Hospital will serve an unmet need
The graying of America, a term coined for the Baby Boom generation entering old age, is happening all over Oregon but especially in Ashland, where a third of the residents are 65 or older — double the national average.
Older adults need more specialized health care, and Asante plans to provide it by making AACH the Rogue Valley’s first Age-Friendly Hospital.
In the first of a week-long series of “Let’s Talk” forums with Asante executives, Chief Medical Officer Jamie Grebosky, MD, explained what the designation will mean for the broader community and for AACH’s future.
In caring for older patients, AACH will use a framework pioneered at other high-performing hospitals, including Stanford. Older patients admitted with an acute illness or impairment will receive care focused on the “four Ms”: Medication, Mentation, Mobility and what Matters.
Each of these contribute greatly to positive or negative outcomes in this patient population. Pharmacists will review the patient’s medications, and “deprescribe” those that negatively affect the patient’s overall health. Staff will take extra steps to prevent delirium, a common condition in older patients, and they will help prevent deconditioning by encouraging mobility. Finally, the patient’s care will include conversations about what’s important to them, which helps determine the level of medical interventions, their quality of life and so on.
In essence, these patients are in “prehab” from the moment they are admitted. The goal is to improve their mood, reduce their impairment and decrease the risk factors that come with hospitalization.
Other hospitals using this model have seen a marked improvement in outcomes. Kent Hospital in Rhode Island examined metrics from patients treated in its Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit. In less than a year, the average lengths of stay shortened, fall rates dropped and readmissions plummeted.
“This is the blueprint we’ll be following over the next year to 18 months,” Dr. Grebosky said.
Age-Friendly at AACH
Watch Dr. Grebosky’s half-hour presentation.
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