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Geriatric Nursing Program (NICHE)

We are pleased to be a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) Exemplar status site committed to special health care for older adults. NICHE is a national geriatric nursing program started in 1992. NICHE is supported by the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University. Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center was the first NICHE-certified facility in our region and now joins other hospitals and a team of nationally recognized researchers, educators, nurses and doctors in a vision of sensitive care for patients 65 and older. Exemplar status is the highest of four possible program levels, recognizing our commitment to providing the highest level of geriatric care.

We demonstrate our commitment through:

  • Educating nurses in geriatric care. Our nurses have received special training about common health problems of older adults.
  • Practices to help older patients regain health and be as functional as possible. We provide care to help prevent complications such as:
    • Skin breakdown
    • Falls/injuries
    • Pain
    • Acute confusion
    • Loss of strength and mobility.

Evaluating the care we provide, continuously monitoring:

  • Patient and family satisfaction
  • Patient response to care
  • Length of hospital stays
  • Improved care

Since we created this NICHE at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, our geriatric patients have enjoyed significantly better care.We have seen a reduction in:

  • Acute care falls
  • Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers
  • Use of restraints and potentially high-risk medications
  • Average length of stay for high-risk geriatric patients

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center believes in promoting best practices as the standard for geriatric nursing care.