The NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for HealthSystem Elders) Program at University Medical Center at Princeton

University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro is a member of NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders), a national initiative based at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University. The program aims to facilitate the infusion of evidence-based geriatric best practices throughout institutions to improve nursing care for older adult patients. Founded in 1992, NICHE is currently in about 240 hospitals in more than 40 states. UMCPP is proud to include itself among the cutting-edge hospitals who participate in this program.
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As part of NICHE, UMCPP nurses and nursing assistants are trained in geriatric-sensitive areas to improve the care of hospitalized individuals age 65 and over. The NICHE program seeks to effect changes in nursing practice that will benefit older hospitalized patients and ultimately achieve patient-centered care for older adults.

Specialized Care for Older Adults

The needs of older patients vary from those of younger patients. For example, the older adult patient may be more likely to be taking a lengthy list of prescriptions medications before hospitalization, which must be taken into consideration during treatment to avoid potential drug interactions.

In addition, complete bed rest causes the average older adult to lose muscle strength at a faster rate - in some cases, as much as seven times the rate of younger patients - while also prompting declines in bone density and postural blood pressure and increasing risk of falls, among other health concerns.

NICHE members have increased nursing knowledge and skills concerning treating common geriatric syndromes, boosted patient satisfaction, and decreased length of stay for older adult patients. In addition, there has been a reduction in readmission rates and an increase in the length of time between readmissions.

UMCPP is committed to offering the best possible care for older adults and to being one of the top providers of inpatient geriatric medical care in the state of New Jersey.

As part of the NICHE program, UMCPP offers a 24-bed Acute Care of the Elderly, or ACE, unit.