Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital earns ‘age-friendly’ designation for excellence in care of older patients
Seniors who choose Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital for care benefit from a broad array of age-friendly initiatives including a customized care plan designed to help them achieve their health goals and a personalized approach to providing nutrition and medication for their specialized needs.
As a result, the hospital has earned the “Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence” recognition from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a not-for-profit organization that uses improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and health care.
Fewer than 200 hospitals and health care practices nationwide have achieved the Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence recognition.
“We know patients 65 and older have unique physical and emotional needs,” said Ashley Capps, associate vice president of nursing at Tidelands Health. “Our care team at Tidelands Waccamaw has adopted evidence-based practices that help us better care for our senior population.”
The Age-Friendly Health System initiative was developed by IHI and The John A. Hartford Foundation, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, to help meet the needs of the growing population of individuals ages 65 and older.
Age-friendly hospitals practice the 4Ms Framework, which outlines specialized guidance in four areas:
- What matters to the patient -- knowing and aligning care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences
- Medication – when medication is necessary, using age-friendly medication
- Mentation -- preventing, identifying, treating and managing dementia, depression and delirium
- Mobility – helping older adults move safely every day to maintain function
At Tidelands Waccamaw, the care team added a fifth “M” to the framework – malnutrition – with an emphasis on helping ensure older patients are receiving their required nutritional needs. In addition to updates in the patient’s file, every patient’s specific care needs are outlined on a white board in the patient’s room and updated daily so the entire care team knows the patient’s specialized needs at a glance.
Tidelands Health also offers Better for Life, a free membership program for adults 50-plus.
“Tidelands Health is singularly focused on our mission to help people live better lives through better health – at every stage of life,” Capps said. “Caring for our community’s seniors is a privilege, and we’re committed to the delivery of health care that is safe, compassionate and age-friendly.”