The G.R.E.A.T. Project: Geriatric Rounds to Evaluate, Assess, and Teach, a Collaborative Approach to Improving Care

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Deborah D'Avolio, PhD, ACNP-BC
Susan J. Gordon, ACNP-BC
Patient Care Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Learning Objective 1: Articulate three goals of the GREAT Project.

Learning Objective 2: Describe the importance of incorporating geriatric assessment into clinical practice.

The G.R.E.A.T. Project
Geriatric Rounds to Evaluate, Assess, and Teach (GREAT): A Collaborative Approach to Improving Care.
Older adults comprise the majority of hospitalized patients; at MGH they are 43% of our inpatient population. Older adults often have multiple conditions and medications. It has been shown that older adults are vulnerable to complications, longer lengths of stay, and death, during hospitalization. Most health care providers are not prepared in their academic programs to care for older adults.  Health care providers need to be knowledgeable and skilled in assessment of older adults.
It has been shown that providing geriatric sensitive care can prevent the occurrence of geriatric syndromes during hospitalization. Recognition of geriatric syndromes is   essential to the recognition, prevention, and treatment of functional decline associated with hospitalization. The goals of the GREAT Project are to provide interdisciplinary, unit based, geriatric education on common geriatric syndromes. Each educational session is followed by participation in geriatric bedside rounds. Prior to the initiation of the GREAT Project, the geriatric needs of older adults were not incorporated into clinical practice.
The GREAT Project has been implemented for six weeks on each participating inpatient unit (N=7).  Preliminary reports suggest that implementing a unit based educational process and demonstration of geriatric assessment and intervention through bedside rounding, has many benefits. These include the incorporation of critical thinking and geriatric competency into practice through individualized plans of care.
Deborah D’Avolio, PhD, ACNP-BCNurse Scientist, Geriatric Specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital
John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin FellowSigma Theta Tau International Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy Mentor
Susan Gordon, ACNP-BC,  Nursing Director, Massachusetts General Hospital
Sigma Theta Tau International Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy Fellow