PBMC Joins “Age-Friendly Healthcare” Network

As baby boomers continue to retire and the East End’s demographics skew ever older, age-friendly practices have become a more and more vital part of providing healthcare here.

Peconic Bay Medical Center announced Dec. 7 that it has been recognized as an “Age-Friendly System” by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

An Age-Friendly System strives to implement best age-friendly practices across the hospital’s different departments — including emergency departments, intensive care units, medical-surgical units, general wards, and primary and specialty care settings for older adults. 

“Peconic Bay Medical Center has always been on the forefront of patient care, and we look forward to implementing our best age-friendly health care practices and learning what’s working for others around the country,” said Dr. Amy E. Loeb, executive director of Peconic Bay Medical Center. “The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is an important part of our overarching vision to provide every older adult with the best care possible.”

This recognition makes Peconic Bay Medical Center the only certified Age-Friendly System on the North Fork. 

The Age-Friendly System is comprised of Health Systems Action Communities, collaborative groups of health care teams from all over the country who are committed to sharing data and learning together.

In becoming an Age-Friendly System, PBMC joins more than 100 health systems working to make care for older adults even more tailored to patients’ goals and preferences.

The initiative is based on a series of practices to address four essential elements of care for older patients:

1. 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 all of the places where a patient seeks care.

2. Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across all of the places where a patient seeks care.

3. Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day, in order to maintain function and do What Matters to them.

4. Medication: If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medication that does not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, or with Mobility, or Mentation. 

“It’s important for us to focus on areas where we can continue to improve the care of all patients and this will have a tremendous impact,” said Christine Kippley, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Peconic Bay Medical Center. “We are all aging, so understanding the differences in how our care plans need to be altered as patients age is a priority for us. Medications may have different effects and interactions as we age. The consequences of an illness for our older adults may be more profound. This strategy will fundamentally change how we view caring for older adults and prove to continue our journey to become more patient-centered for all patients under our care.”

Age-Friendly Systems were established 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.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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