Implementation of geriatric acute care best practices: Initial results of the NICHE SITE self-evaluation

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Abstract

Nurses Improving Care of Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) provides hospitals with tools and resources to implement an initiative to improve health outcomes in older adults and their families. Beginning in 2011, members have engaged in a process of program self-evaluation, designed to evaluate internal progress toward developing, sustaining, and disseminating NICHE. This manuscript describes the NICHE Site Self-evaluation and reports the inaugural self-evaluation data in 180 North American hospitals. NICHE members evaluate their program utilizing the following dimensions of a geriatric acute care program: guiding principles, organizational structures, leadership, geriatric staff competence, interdisciplinary resources and processes, patient- and family-centered approaches, environment of care, and quality metrics. The majority of NICHE sites were at the progressive implementation level (n = 100, 55.6%), having implemented interdisciplinary geriatric education and the geriatric resource nurse (GRN) model on at least one unit; 29% have implemented the GRN model on multiple units, including specialty areas. Bed size, teaching status, and Magnet status were not associated with level of implementation, suggesting that NICHE implementation can be successful in a variety of settings and communities.

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