Banner Boswell earns NICHE designation for elder care
Sun City, AZ (Oct. 27, 2011) – Banner Boswell Medical Center has been designated as a NICHE hospital, in recognition of the unique care it brings to the Sun City community. NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) designation means that the hospital has met the criteria for providing optimal care to the geriatric population.
“When a member of our community is hospitalized, beyond their initial diagnosis they may have other conditions to which we must tailor their care needs,” noted Julie Nunley, chief nursing officer at the nonprofit hospital. “For example, our patients may have hearing or vision impairments not normally seen in a younger population, so we need to ensure that they are communicated with effectively to compensate for these conditions. This designation is nursing driven and we expect it will hugely impact the care patients receive and can expect when they are here. While NICHE focuses on nursing care, Banner Boswell approaches improvement in care through a team approach through all disciplines.”
The NICHE designation is earned after a hospital goes through an application process and training. It is a program of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing. As stated on the NICHE website, the program “is designed to upgrade the quality of care for hospitalized older adults by increasing awareness of geriatric issues, improving staff competence in geriatric care and supporting the implementation of hospital geriatric protocols.”
Banner Boswell is one of only two facilities in the state to have this designation and the only one in the Valley.
“While Banner Boswell is not solely a geriatric hospital, our campus does specialize in diseases most commonly seen in the aging,” said Barbara Minick, associate administrator at the hospital.
In addition to the NICHE designation, Nunley added that the hospital is working on developing an ACE (acute care for elders) unit. This pilot program will focus on the things that most impact elders – falls, skin ulcers, polypharmacy (multiple prescription drugs) and chronic pain. Pain alone can increase a person’s chances of falling by 50 percent.
Banner Boswell Medical Center, located at 10401 W. Thunderbird Blvd. in Sun City, is a 501-bed campus specializing in heart care, cancer care, stroke care, orthopedics, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing and emergency care. Supporting Banner Boswell’s mission of excellent patient care is the Sun Health Foundation, which encourages charitable giving to support the hospital. Banner Boswell is part of nonprofit Banner Health. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/Boswell.