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CANANDAIGUA – F.F. Thompson Hospital recently received designation from the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at the New York University College of Nursing as a NICHE site, signaling the hospital’s resolve to continue providing and improving patient-centered care for older adults.


NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is a national designation that provides Thompson’s nurses with access to an array of courses, webinars and discussion boards.


Clinical Nurse Leader Diana Ellison, MS, RN, CNL, is the NICHE Coordinator for Thompson. She says that through the hospital’s participation in the program, Thompson will be better equipped to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote cooperation and coordination, ensuring care is comprehensive, continuous and effective for older adults. Combined with enhanced training in geriatric care, these approaches are expected to lead to greater satisfaction among patients, who will receive individualized care plans based on keen understandings of their unique “stories” and needs.


“Through NICHE and by implementing and maintaining quality improvement approaches, we will be in a better position to meet individual needs and support healthy behaviors on the patient’s part,” Ellison says, noting that this will not only improve the patients’ experiences, but nurses’ as well. “We want to be the employer of choice for caregivers who enjoy coming to work and being recognized for their elder care experience and their loving care of patients.”


The NICHE designation comes at a time when nearly 65 percent of the inpatients on Thompson’s medical/surgical units are over the age of 65. That percentage is only expected to increase as the region’s population ages, and Vice President of Patient Care Services/CNO Hazel Robertshaw says that whether they are aware of Thompson’s NICHE designation or not, the older adults treated in the hospital will recognize that they are in a place where their care team will pay close attention to every detail of their particular condition.


“On the heels of the 2010 Magnet® redesignation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in recognition of our overall commitment to nursing excellence, this is something we are very excited to be able to offer our community,” Robertshaw says.


For more information on NICHE, go to www.hartfordign.org.

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