2021 Age-Friendly Health System | Hackensack Meridian Health   

Hackensack University Medical Center’s Age-Friendly Health System Recognition Expands to Include Outpatient Care for Seniors

Center for Healthy Senior Living recognized in 2023 for embracing 4M model in geriatric care and medical education to enhance safety

Age Friendly Initiative

Hackensack University Medical Center’s Center for Healthy Senior Living has been recognized as a 2023 Age-Friendly Health System—Committed to Care Excellence by Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). This marks the first year of recognition for ambulatory care—in addition to previous recognition for acute care setting.

The Center for Healthy Senior Living includes board-certified geriatric medicine specialists providing services ranging from wellness and prevention to specialized hospital, nursing home and hospice care. Additionally, the team focuses on managing aging-related conditions including falls, confusion and dementia, osteoporosis, physical function and mobility concerns, perioperative care and goals of care.

Since 2021, Hackensack University Medical Center has participated in the Age-Friendly Health Systems. Now the successful program to support safety and quality in geriatric care is in effect across the Hackensack Meridian Health network.

Becoming an Age-Friendly Health System entails reliably providing a set of four evidence-based elements of high-quality care, known as the 4Ms, to all older adults in the system: What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility.

Hackensack University Medical Center’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, led by Manisha S. Parulekar, M.D., FACP, CMD — who is board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine—provides comprehensive care to help older adults manage the aging process—treating acute and chronic medical conditions while helping patients maximize their independence and quality of life. The 4M model offers practical caregiver guidance to help patients achieve these goals.

In addition, a geriatric quality council follows the 4M model in addressing care gaps for older adults in the acute care setting. Recent enhancements include the incorporation of 4M prompts in the EHR in acute care settings and coordination with pharmacies across the health system, such as warnings regarding pain medications that may cause delirium or have other negative effects in older patients. The opportunity to issue a consultation for delirium management (mentation) is also integrated into the EHR. The health system’s 2023 nursing conference featured the 4M model as well.

With a focus on conditions commonly associated with aging, including falls, Hackensack University Medical Center Emergency Department is one of only 11 hospitals in the country designated as a Level 1 Geriatrics Emergency Department by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The Level 1 Trauma Center provides total care for every aspect of a potential injury from prevention through rehabilitation, including a geriatric consultation for all geriatric trauma admissions.

At Hackensack University Medical Center, the Center for Memory Loss & Brain Health, a collaborative effort between Geriatrics and the Neuroscience Institute, provides comprehensive, patient-centered, coordinated care for dementia and memory disorders. “With our Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), NICHE and Delirium DSC, Hackensack University Medical Center leads the way in providing age-friendly health care,” Dr. Parulekar said.

Learn more about innovative geriatric care at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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