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Gaining a NICHE

Designation spotlights Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s elder care.

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital recently earned the designation of being a NICHE hospital. NICHE, which stands for Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders, is the only national designation indicating a hospital's commitment to elder care excellence. Inova Mount Vernon Hospital is one of the first hospitals to receive the NICHE designation in Fairfax County.

“Through NICHE, the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital clinicians and staff engage in ongoing training and are able to share information, knowledge, and expertise with other NICHE hospitals,” said Barbara Doyle, chief executive officer at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in a statement. “With this designation, our patients can rest assured that they are receiving the best possible quality of care with the most up-to-date treatment options.”

The NICHE program assist the hospital in continuous improvement in geriatric nursing knowledge and patient outcomes, while enhancing work satisfaction in caring for older adults.

“With this designation, Inova Mount Vernon Hospital is now part of a community of resources provided by NICHE,” said Laura Shanks, a medical surgical clinical nurse specialist. “Because older people face greater challenges when hospitalized, it's important to have access to resources that NICHE can provide, like educational programs, training, mentorships and resources for developing evidence-based protocols to improve the outcomes for our older adult patients.”

NICHE nursing care models help hospitals improve care to better meet the needs of hospitalized older adult patients. These models have been implemented and tested at hospitals across the country and have been shown to be effective in improving clinical care and outcomes for elders during and following hospital admission.

A program of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing, NICHE has evolved into the only national geriatric care program for hospitals. It is currently comprised of nearly 300 hospitals across the country that share the goal to achieve patient-centered care for older adults.

— Jeanne Theismann