Rush University Medical Center Joins National Age-Friendly Health Systems Initiative

Rush is the only Illinois hospital to receive designation


Newswise — (CHICAGO) – Rush University Medical Center has joined the national movement to improve health care for older adults by becoming the only hospital in Illinois to be part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative. 

The national program’s goals are to improve the way hospitals and other care settings care for older adults, achieve fewer avoidable hospital readmissions, provide better outcomes and lower overall costs by using a set of evidence-based interventions used in emergency departments, intensive care units, medical-surgical units, general floors as well as primary and specialty care settings.

The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is led by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

“As a participant, Rush is contributing to a goal of 20 percent of U.S. Hospitals and health systems becoming age-friendly by 2020,” said Erin Emery-Tiburcio, PhD, co-director for the center for excellence in aging at Rush.

“Older adults are living and working longer, redefining later life and enriching our communities,” said Emery-Tiburcio.  “The future of health care requires bold approaches that value older adults, address their unique needs and provide them with the best care possible.” 

The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is based on a series of practices focused on addressing four essential elements of care for older patients:

  • What matters: Know and align care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences including but not limited to end-of-life-care and across settings of care.
  • Medication: Use age-friendly medication that do not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, Mobility or Mentation across settings of care.
  • Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat and manage dementia, depression and delirium across settings of care.
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.

“Rush has always been a leader in patient care and treating older adults.  With this initiative, we will be implementing a set of evidence-based interventions specifically designed to improve care for older adults,” said Robyn Golden, associate vice president of population health and aging at Rush.

U.S. News & World Report, “Best Hospitals” issue, ranked geriatric medicine at Rush among the best in the country and it is 19 in the nation.

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