Nurse-led program improves care for older patients, study finds

A nurse-led education and consultation program created at New York University improves care quality and patient safety for patients over age 65, according to a study published Nov. 4 in The Gerontologist.

NYU's Rory Meyers College of Nursing in New York City created the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders program to help organizations improve care for older adults. The program now involves 580 acute care hospitals and nursing homes in the U.S., Singapore, Canada and Bermuda. The program provides resources and practice models for nurses to improve patient- and family-centered care for older adults. 

Researchers analyzed 43 articles about NICHE from six databases between January 1992 and April 2019, involving a total of 12,254 patients and more than 50,000 nurses and healthcare professionals. The analysis revealed that specialized older adult care, a key feature of NICHE, increased care quality and patient safety, while lowering complications and length of stay. Improvements were also noted in specialized geriatric care education and consultation, as measured by perceptions of the geriatric care environment and aging-sensitive care delivery.  

The study authors say the findings are promising but more research on patient outcomes and the impact on healthcare professionals is needed to further improve care for older patients.

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