SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital has been designated an “Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence” for focusing on what matters most to geriatric patients and their families.
An initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Age-Friendly Health Systems is part of a national movement to improve the health and healthcare of older adults. In New York, the initiative is supported by the Healthcare Association of New York State, which has launched the New York State Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community.
Saratoga Hospital earned the age-friendly designation by demonstrating that its approach to age-appropriate care is built on evidence-based practices, reduces harm, and emphasizes what matters most to patients and their families.
“Hospital stays can be particularly stressful for older patients and their families,” said Dr. Mallory Otto, a geriatrician with Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Geriatric Care. “Our age-friendly designation affirms that patients can count on us to meet the needs of older individuals, taking into account their priorities and personal definitions of quality of life.”
“That’s an important message – and a source of comfort – in a hospital like ours, where more than 55% of patients are 65 and older, and nearly one-third are ages 75 and older,” she added.
Otto teamed up with Cindi Lisuzzo, Director of Care Management, to lead the multidisciplinary age-friendly effort at Saratoga Hospital. Michelle Little, Director of Nursing on one of Saratoga Hospital’s medical-surgical floors, also played a key role in implementing the age-friendly framework, which is built around four essential elements known as the 4Ms”
What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care and across settings of care.
Medication: If medication is necessary, use age-friendly medication that does not interfere with what matters to the older adult, mobility or mentation.
Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat and manage dementia, depression and delirium.
Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do what matters.
Nationwide more than 2,200 organizations are recognized as Age-Friendly Health System participants. Of those, less then 30% – including Saratoga Hospital – have attained the higher distinction of Age-Friendly Health Systems – Committed Care to Excellence.