UT Southwestern's Nationally Ranked Geriatric Care Receives International Exemplary Status

UT Southwestern’s Nationally Ranked Geriatric Care Receives International Exemplary Status

UT Southwestern is ranked the 26th best national program in geriatrics by US News & World Report.

DALLAS – October 24, 2022 – UT Southwestern Medical Center has been awarded exemplary status by the Nurses Improving Care for Seniors in the Healthcare System (NICHE) – an international designation that indicates a hospital’s commitment to reaching the highest standard excellence in geriatric care.

Thomas Dalton, MD

“Excellent care for the elderly requires coordination and teamwork across disciplines and professions, and this recognition is a testament to the leadership role our nurses have played in this mission as well as the continued commitment of our team to provide quality care to every senior who walks into our medical center,” said Thomas Dalton, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at UTSW’s Mildred Wyatt & Ivor P. Wold Center for Geriatric Care, which provides both primary geriatric medical care and specialist consultations for patients aged 80 and over. “This team works day in and day out to not only implement evidence-based, person-centered practices, but also to innovate and spread these practices throughout the UT Southwest health system. “

UT Southwestern is ranked the 26th best national program in geriatrics by US News and World Report and has been recognized as a participant in Age-Friendly Health Systems, a movement to provide safe, reliable, high-quality health care in all settings, based on what matters most to older people as people. UT Southwestern has several programs aimed specifically at providing patient-centered care and education to elderly patients and developing coordinated multidisciplinary care plans that focus on the whole individual, including social and psychological issues as well as conditions medical.

The exemplary status of Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) recognizes the highest level of excellence in geriatric care.

Criteria for NICHE designation include expanding patient-centered geriatric care services to meet the needs of elderly patients and their families, supporting people with disabilities, improving orthopedic surgery outcomes, identifying and managing delirium and strengthening community engagement.

Specialty care at UT Southwestern for the elderly includes:

  • UT Southwestern’s Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Specialty Unit at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, an interdisciplinary team that brings together specialist expertise in all aspects of geriatric care to help older adults preserve and regain their function and independence after hospitalization . UT Southwestern has the only ACE unit in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Research shows that patients who are cared for in an ACE unit have better outcomes, including:
    • Better functional and cognitive results
    • Fewer nosocomial complications
    • Reduced health care costs
    • Shorter hospital stays

    Less likely to move to a nursing home after hospitalization ACE units have been developed to specifically address issues such as cognitive decline, delirium, functional decline and pressure sores; and include interventions such as medication review, nutritional counseling, physiotherapy, sleep hygiene, and post-discharge care planning.

  • The UT Southwestern Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health (POSH) program, offered through the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Departments of Surgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Management, provides a comprehensive assessment for seniors considering surgery . Specialists assess seniors before surgery to anticipate any risk of adverse postoperative events and provide an optimization plan to avoid complications and improve outcomes. After the procedure, members of the UTSW POSH care team continue to provide consultative management of multiple conditions, make recommendations for the prevention of delirium, and assist in a safe transition out of the hospital.
  • UT Southwestern’s Care of the Vulnerable Elderly (COVE) home-based primary care program provides an interdisciplinary approach to caring for vulnerable older adults with multiple chronic conditions. COVE is comprised of advanced practice nurse practitioners and physicians specially trained in geriatrics, as well as a clinical social worker, clinical coordinator and registered nurse with expertise in geriatrics. At home, the team can provide almost any type of care that a clinic can provide. This includes physical exams, vaccinations, phlebotomies, electrocardiograms, cortisone joint injections, and mental health screenings. Advances in mobile equipment such as ultrasound have made it possible to perform both assessment and management at home. COVE serves patients over the age of 65, who need help with at least one aspect of personal care, who have a chronic illness, and who need help getting to medical appointments.
  • The Southwest Aging and Geriatrics Education (UT SAGE) Program is a comprehensive initiative designed to increase education in geriatrics through an innovative curriculum that emphasizes patient safety and centered care on the patient for the vulnerable elderly. UT SAGE was established through a generous grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation with strong institutional support from all of UT Southwestern.

Craig Rubin, MD

“UT Southwestern has made significant investments in the necessary supportive care infrastructure that can not only ease travel and access burdens for seniors and elderly patients and their families, but most importantly improve surgical and orthopedic outcomes. , help manage cardiac, pulmonary and gastrointestinal comorbidities. and address the spectrum of neuropsychiatric care for dementia and other conditions,” said Craig Rubin, MD, Professor Emeritus and Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, who holds the Seymour Eisenberg Professor Emeritus Chair in Geriatric Medicine, Margaret and Trammell Crow Distinguished Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Geriatrics Research, Walsdorf Chair in Geriatrics Research, and Sinor/Pritchard (Katy Sinor and Kay Pritchard) Chair in Medical Education in Honor of Donald W. Seldin, MD” This infrastructure has the added benefit of reducing hospitalizations and readmissions, which also helps reduce the total cost of care.”

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes and includes 24 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Full-time faculty of more than 2,900 are responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and committed to rapidly translating scientific research into new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in more than 80 specialties to more than 100,000 inpatients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases, and oversee nearly 4 million outpatient visits annually.

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