Alliance for the Ages: Geriatric Interdisciplinary Teamwork is Central to Quality Care of Our Elders

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lynn M. Etters, MSN, GNP-BC
Geriatrics, Detroit Medical Center/Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, Commerce Township, MI

Learning Objective 1: Describe how a geriatric interdisciplinary team approach can maximize the development of a comprehensive patient centered plan of care.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss how a geriatric assessment tool can assist in the implementation of evidenced-based interventions leading to improved patient outcomes.

For Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, a growing proportion of our patient population of older adults is 65 years and over. Homeostenosis, a concept of aging can impair the ability to compensate for acute physiologic illness and stress. In addition, older hospitalized adults may have complex medical, psychological and social needs. Geriatric specialists are unique, but scarce resources in the delivery of health care.  Shaping the care of older adults is dependant on the provision of opportunities that will increase knowledge for healthcare workers. A geriatric interdisciplinary team approach to the clinical experience permits the opportunity to build and develop geriatric education at the same time offering patient centered care. Assisting nursing staff to be prepared to meet the needs of our older patients and their families can have a significant impact on the continuum of care that is provided. Applying evidence-based strategies can decrease the functional decline that is often experienced in the older adult.