LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville has received designation as a NICHE Hospital. The NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) designation indicates a hospital’s commitment to elder care excellence. The NICHE designation signals LeConte Medical Center’s dedication to providing patient-centered care for older adult patients. Through LeConte’s participation in the NICHE program — a leading elder care nursing program — the hospital is able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for older adults. This leads to greater satisfaction rates for patients, their families and staff.
“NICHE is essentially about providing exemplary care to all patients 65 and older. With this designation, we have the ability to provide specialized training and education to the nursing staff with emphasis on achieving high standards of care for the older adult,” explained quality manager Mary Nypaver, PhD, RN.
The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. Another important link that NICHE recognizes is the importance of families and patient-directed care. Families provide a vital link between the patient and staff. Nurses are in a unique position to work with families as partners to provide quality care to older adult patients. It is also important to have informed, involved patients who understand and participate in their care. Emphasizing patient-directed care is critical to improving safety, efficiency, and quality.
“Being designated as a NICHE facility allows LeConte Medical Center to gain access to evidence based resources to address the needs of hospitalized older adults,” explained chief nursing office Jennifer DeBow, RN, BSN. “As the age of the hospitalized patient continues to increase, it is important for us to know how to best meet these patients’ specific needs. Being designated as a NICHE facility allows us to develop and advance the quality of care provided at LeConte Medical Center.”
The NICHE Program helps nurses and staff meet the specialized needs of older adult patients by sharing best practices, providing state-of-the art training and tools, and sharing information, knowledge and expertise.
“LeConte Medical Center shows a tremendous commitment to meet the most critical challenge of our times – quality care of older adults,” says Barbara Bricoli, MPA, executive director – NICHE. “The hospital’s dedication to drive continuous improvement processes and enhance care marks them as leaders in the field.”
LeConte Medical Center is one of five hospitals in the state of the Tennessee to hold the NICHE designation. Two other Covenant Health facilities, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and Fort Loudoun Medical Center, also hold the NICHE designation. For more information about NICHE visit www.nicheprogram.org.