Chilton reaches top status for eldercare


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  • Here are the members of Chilton Hospital’s NICHE Steering Committee at the 9th annual NICHE Conference, standing from left are Helen Filor, RNII; Margaret Puccio, RN; Tisha McTigue, RNC-OB, MS, APN; Karen Stutzer, Ph.D., RN; NICHE Coordinator Carnette Smith, MS, RN; Bobbi Barnicle, CCN, RN; Linda Marciniak, MSW, LCSW, ACSW; and Barbara Giles, RN. Sitting from left are: Christine Apkarian, RN-BC; Bonita O’Connor; Julia Dumpert, BSN, RN; and JoAnn Valent, RN, BC, BSN, CWOCN, COS-C.

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— As the first wave of the baby boomer generation has reached 65, there is an increasing need for continuous updating of eldercare criteria.

The Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) organization, based out of the NYU School of Nursing, is a nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults through evidence-based practices. Around 500 hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America follow NICHE guidelines, including Chilton Hospital.

For the past nine years, Chilton has held its own NICHE Conference at Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains to educate nurses and other health care professionals on the latest best practices in eldercare based on NICHE’s findings.

At the ninth annual event on Oct. 18, Chilton’s NICHE Steering Committee had something special to celebrate: The hospital had achieved “Exemplar” status, the highest possible rating from the NICHE organization.

Chilton is one of 6 percent of hospitals in the nation to have reached this designation. Only five other hospitals in New Jersey have reached Exemplar level with Chilton being the only one in North Jersey.

“The NICHE designation and the ‘Exemplar’ status signal our resolve to provide patient-centered care for older adults,” said Chilton Niche Coordinator Carnette Smith, RN, MS. “Through our participation in the NICHE program, we are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for the older adults in our care. This leads to greater satisfaction rates for our patients, their families and our staff.”

The four levels of NICHE hospital implementation status are as follows:

Early Implementation (17 percent of hospitals)

Progressive Implementation (47 percent of hospitals)

Senior Friendly Implementation (30 percent of hospitals)

Exemplar Implementation (6 percent of hospitals)

“Chilton Hospital’s evaluation demonstrated a tremendous ability to meet the needs of the older adult patient,” said Liz Capezuti, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of NICHE at New York University College of Nursing. “The hospital’s high intensity level in marshaling geriatric nursing resources and support to enhance care marks it as a leader in the field.”

For more information about NICHE, visit www.nicheprogram.org.


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