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Article updated: 12/3/2012 1:58 PM

Northwest Community Hospital achieves "Senior Friendly" status for older adult patient care

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By Northwest Community Healthcare

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) was recently designated a "Senior Friendly" hospital for its NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program, acknowledging the hospital's alignment with the needs of the community's older adult population.

NICHE is a premier designation indicating a hospital's commitment to excellence in the care of patients 65-years and older. NCH has been NICHE designated since 2007, but this September was awarded with the second highest program level after a rigorous self-evaluation of the geriatric program. The "Senior Friendly" status recognizes the hospital's program as having implemented a Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model; implemented aging-sensitive policies; and included the input of patient, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives.

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"Through the participation in the NICHE program we are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for the older adults." said Julia Knight, geriatric CNS and NICHE coordinator. "The 'Senior Friendly' status illustrates our continual progression with the program's initiatives and our commitment to the elderly."

Additional geriatric programs are currently underway at NCH including AgeWISE, improving learning and outcomes for end of life care for older adults; LINCT (Liaisons in Nursing Care Transitions), working to create smooth transitions between care for older adults; and Silver Spoons, a group of volunteers who feed elderly patients who have difficulties feeding themselves.

To learn more about senior services at NCH, visit www.nch.org/seniors.

About Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)

Serving Chicago's northwest suburbs since 1959, NCH is a comprehensive, patient-centered system of care that serves more than 350,000 outpatients each year, as well as nearly 30,000 inpatients treated annually at the 496-bed acute care hospital in Arlington Heights. The award-winning hospital holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence, is designated as a Primary Stroke Center and earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2011. NCH has four Immediate Care locations in the northwest suburbs and operates a FastCare Clinic in Palatine. NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians, which includes the board-certified primary care doctors and specialists of the NCH Medical Group. For more information or to find a doctor on the NCH Medical staff, visit www.nch.org.

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