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West Side Senior News & Notes

3/6/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summa hospitals receive distinction for care of seniors

GREATER AKRON — Summa Health System’s wholly owned hospitals — Summa Akron City Hospital, Summa St. Thomas Hospital, Summa Barberton Hospital and Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital — announced they have received NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) designation.

According to Summa officials, NICHE is the country’s leading nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals improve care of older adults. The program is based at the New York University College of Nursing and is comprised of 500 hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America. NICHE’s designation signifies a hospital’s organizational commitment and continued progress in improving quality and enhancing the patient and family experience, according to Summa officials.

“Our findings at Summa mirror these national findings,” said Lanie Ward, Summa Health System senior vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer. “Training our nurses and all members of our health care team to better understand the unique needs of our senior patients is of utmost importance to our caregivers and our entire health system.”

With Americans living longer, the demand for geriatric care is increasing at a rapid pace. According to a 2013 report from the American Geriatrics Society, older adults now account for a disproportionate share of health care services and comprise some 35 percent of all hospital stays, said Summa officials.

“NICHE designation demonstrates our leadership and commitment to meeting and exceeding the special care needs of older adults in the communities we serve,” said Kathy Blake, vice president for seniors and post-acute services at Summa Health System. “We are committed to providing the best experience possible for all of our patients, so this effort to become a NICHE hospital fits perfectly with our overall goals.”

For more information, visit www.summahealth.org.


Kathleen Collins contributed to this report.

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