Established in 1992, NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) is a program of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing. As the only national nursing geriatric initiative to improve the care of older hospitalized adults, it is comprised of more than 300 hospitals throughout North America.
NICHE provides materials and services necessary to stimulate and support the planning and implementation process. Unlike other programs, it does not prescribe how institutions should modify geriatric care; rather, it provides the materials and services necessary to stimulate and support the planning and implementation process. The focus is on programs and protocols that are dominantly under the control of nursing practice; in other words, areas where nursing interventions have a substantive and positive impact on patient care.
In today's healthcare system there seems to be a shortage of professionals educated in geriatric care. NICHE designated hospitals, such as Rochester General, make sure that every patient's specials needs can be met. For example, emergency room personnel, who are often the first to see the patient, will have a greater understanding of age-specific presentations of disease and are likely to have participated in the NICHE protocols that address these issues.
NICHE is a collaborative enterprise in which experienced NICHE nurses, along with NICHE faculty at the Hartford Institute, provide guidance and support to new members. Along with an onsite coordinator, there are calls and consultations between the new NICHE team and a NICHE faculty member from the Hartford Institute and/or a senior NICHE mentor who has several years’ program experience. This hands-on support, coupled with NICHE’s comprehensive portfolio of proprietary tools and resources, facilitates and assists system wide adoption of geriatric programs. And with NICHE designation, hospital staffs become members in a healthcare community that is passionate, vocal and dedicated to providing better care for older Americans.
Nurses Improving Care for Health system Elders (NICHE) is the largest national geriatric care program for hospitals. NICHE hospital staff are more knowledgeable and qualified in caring for older adult patients and, as a result, NICHE hospitals have higher patient and family satisfaction overall.
NICHE Hospitals are committed to improving care for geriatric patients. Over 50% of all hospital patients are over 65-years-old and have unique needs that can only be met by nurses with specialized geriatric education and training. They have invested time and resources in the further education of their staff on the unique needs of geriatric patients. As a result, NICHE Hospitals have higher patient and family satisfaction ratings.
Rochester General Hospital is one of those facilities. Because we care about all our patients and recognize that our older visitors require and deserve special attention, a collaborative effort by our staff and nurses with extensive training is implemented to ensure we provide excellent bedside nursing to hospitalized older adults.