• Open Access

Nurses Improving the Care of Healthsystem Elders: Creating a Sustainable Business Model to Improve Care of Hospitalized Older Adults

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Abstract

The Nurses Improving the Care of Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program helps its more than 450 member sites to build the leadership capabilities to enact system-level change that targets the unique needs of older adults and embeds evidence-based geriatrics knowledge into practice. NICHE received expansion funding to establish a sustainable business model for operations while positioning the program to continue as a leader in innovative senior care programs. The expansion program focused on developing an internal business infrastructure, expanding NICHE-specific resources, creating a Web platform, increasing the number of participating NICHE hospitals, enhancing and expanding the NICHE benchmarking service, supporting research that generates evidence-based practices, fostering interorganizational collaboration, developing sufficient diversified revenue sources, and increasing the penetration and level of activity of current NICHE sites. These activities (improved services, Web-based tools, better benchmarking) added value and made it feasible to charge hospitals an annual fee for access and participation. NICHE does not stipulate how institutions should modify geriatric care; rather, NICHE principles and tools are meant to be adapted to each site's unique institutional culture. This article describes the historical context, the rationale, and the business plan that has resulted in successful organizational outcomes, including financial sustainability of the business operations of NICHE.

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