NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) recently concluded its annual conference in Walt Disney World® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The conference attracted 830 nurses and other healthcare professionals from 320 NICHE member and non-member hospitals whose shared purpose is to improve the quality of care for older adult patients. An international program, facilities from 44 states and five countries — U.S., Brazil, Canada, Iceland, and Sweden — were represented. Meeting and networking with hospitals from around the world combined with the most robust schedule NICHE has ever offered made for a great conference!
The theme of this year's conference was “Innovation Through Leadership.” Conference topics included transitions, cognitive impairment, medication, and patient safety.
“Our conference was extended to four days this year to accomodate the growing demand for more programming. With the 2015 conference we introduced a research day and roundtable session," says Barbara Bricoli, Executive Director - NICHE. “The dynamic information exchange inspired the attendees and gave them more tools to foster the change we need to better care for our older adults. We will definitely do more intimate settings at future conferences.”
During the conference, the attendees heard from leading gerontology researchers and practitioners about best practices for care of older adult patients. Three keynotes, over 55 podium presentations, 27 roundtable presentations, and over 100 poster presentations offered ways to identify, prevent, reduce, and manage typical geriatric syndromes, as well as proven methods for implementing innovations.
Frontline nurses, nurse administrators, physicians, and other healthcare providers who have successfully implemented the NICHE program at their hospitals shared tremendous innovations on transitions, cognitive impairment, medication, and patient safety, among others.
Inspiring Keynote Addresses
Eileen Sullivan-Marx, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Dean of New York University College of Nursing, discussed what the world expects of nurses in innovating, educating, and caring for older adults. The dean exhorted nurses “to transform the healthcare system and make prevention, wellness, and primary care the foundation of care.”
Eric A. Coleman, M.D., MPH, Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, Colo., presented on transitions. Dr. Coleman’s work in care transitions is focused on improving quality and safety.
Patricia Quigley, Ph.D., MPH, ARNP, CRRN, FAAN, FAANP, Associate Director, VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, Tampa, Fla., spoke about actionable elements of a fall prevention program and cited the objective to “review important patient safety practices for evidence of effectiveness, implementation, and adoption.”
Fascinating Poster Presentations
Over 100 poster presentations discussing transitions, cognitive impairment, medication, and patient safety subjects were exhibited during the conference. The innovations described in the posters represent a wonderful resource that will offer many collaborative opportunities in the coming year.