The NICHE Program at Spectrum Health LakelandNurse_with_patient

The NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program was implemented at Spectrum Health Lakeland to improve the quality of care for older adult patients and provide support for their families. As a NICHE health system we recognize that older adult patients have specialized needs and that patient and family-centered care is imperative to creating a positive experience for our older patients. 

NICHE is an international organization designed to help hospitals raise the level of care for older adults through the education of nurses and other staff in best practice models. NICHE hospitals seek to create an environment where older adult patients receive care that results in better outcomes. 

By 2050, the older adult population will number nearly 89 million, more than double the current population in 2010. the reasons, people are living longer and every day until 2031, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65.

Thanks to the NICHE program, our hospital staff is more knowledgeable and qualified in caring for older adult patients and, as a result, we have higher patient and family satisfaction levels.

The Importance of Families

Families provide a vital link between the patient and staff. And nurses are in a unique position to work with families as partners to provide quality care to older adult patients. It is also important to have informed, involved patients who understand and participate in their care. Emphasizing patient directed care is critical to improving safety, efficiency, and quality. The NICHE Program helps nurses and other staff meet the specialized needs of older adult patients with:

  • Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model guides in the use of proven practices to foster better outcomes
  • State of the art training, tools, and resources including an interactive 24/7 e-Learning center
  • Shared information, knowledge, and expertise

NEW! Patient+Family Mobile App

NICHE has developed a new Patient+Family Mobile App to help prepare older adult patients and their caregivers for the realities of hospitalization and transitions between home, hospitals, and nursing homes. The app contains information written in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Content covers 24 topics including guidance in dealing with delirium, dementia, depression, functional decline, hearing, medications, nutrition, safety, palliative care, surgery, transitions, vaccines and more. The app is organized for fast, easy navigation. Three checklists for going to, staying in and leaving the hospital help patients and caregivers throughout transitions. A “Find the Nearest NICHE Facility” is included.

“This new tool is designed to help the consumer travel through the healthcare continuum,” says Barbara Bricoli, NICHE executive director. “A well informed patient and caregiver can more easily cope with hospitalization and transitions, and communicate better with the healthcare team.”

Download the App today!

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