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Upstate earns next level of recognition for care of older adults

Upstate Medical University recently achieved a second recognition for its care of older adults 

Upstate Community Hospital’s Transitional Care Unit (TCU) and the ambulatory University Geriatricians office have now achieved a Level 2 designation as an Age-Friendly Health System Committed to Care Excellence. Upstate received a Level 1 designation over the summer.

“The implementation of Age-Friendly Care has been eye opening,” said Quonitra Bullock, MSN, RN, NEA-BC and nurse manager of the TCU. “A little goes a long way. I can say with confidence that our eyes are open, we will continue to promote program initiatives that best serve our patients. What matters to them, matters to us.”

The Age-Friendly Health Systems designation is an initiative of the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), designed to meet this challenge of caring for an aging population head on.

Since the initiation of the Age-Friendly initiative, Upstate has provided Age-Friendly care to 258 patients across both pilot areas. This includes in the TCU 156 vaccinations given over the past three months and a unit Turkey Trot where 11 patients participated and completed five laps around the unit. University Geriatricians implemented robotic therapy pets to support patients with anxiety and nursing collaborating with pharmacy to support patients who experience difficulty with the cost of medications.

The Age-Friendly initiatives focuses on the 4Ms for older adults: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility.

“We contribute our success to establishing a highly collaborative cross-functional team to support Age-Friendly Health Care, identifying champions for each of the 4Ms, and piloting the 4Ms in both an inpatient and outpatient setting,” Bullock said.

Upstate Community Hospital is the only hospital in Syracuse to have achieved the level 2 age-friendly designation from the AHA.

Caption: Quonitra W. Bullock, right, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, nurse manager of the TCU, and Carrie A. Dickinson, PhD., operational excellence leader for Ambulatory Services Administration, are co-leaders of the interdisciplinary team that helped earn the Age-Friendly System designation for Upstate.