Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals Wrap-up Successful Conference in San Diego
2014 Annual NICHE Conference Showcased Innovations in the Care of Older Adult Patients
NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) recently concluded its annual conference in San Diego, California. By all accounts, the conference was a great success. The conference attracted 650 nurses and other healthcare professionals from 275 NICHE member and non-member hospitals whose shared purpose is to improve the quality of care for hospitalized older adults. An international program, facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Australia, Turkey, and Singapore were all represented.
The theme of this year's conference was “Care. Collaborate. Change.” Conference topics included palliative/end of life care, pain/pain management, transitions and chronic/acute illness.
“This year’s conference — our first on the West Coast — featured tracks all 3 days to increase the number of speakers in both the breakouts and plenary sessions,” says Barbara Bricoli, MPA, Managing Director - NICHE. “The keynotes, panels and posters certainly inspired the attendees and the information presented will help foster the change we need to better care for our older adults.”
During the conference, the attendees heard from leading gerontology researchers and practitioners about best practices for care of older adult patients. Three keynotes, over 50 presentations and 100 poster presentations described ways to identify, prevent, reduce and manage common geriatric syndromes, as well as systems level approaches to implementing innovations. New this year, were are series of presentations on how to maximize your NICHE program.
Frontline nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers who have successfully implemented the NICHE program at their hospitals shared tremendous innovations on geropalliative care and pain management, acute illness, chronic transitions, skilled nursing facilities and multi-site transitions, patient/family education, among others.
Inspiring Keynote Addresses
Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), spoke about health policy and laws, and the pressing issues with a special emphasis on nursing roles. She identified three roles nurses are in position to take action: "Care. Cure. Coordination.”
Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, CEO, Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), presented on palliative care and noted that “the third leading cause of death in older adults is hospitalization." Advocating in support of the caregiver she demonstrated how this can increase value while decreasing costs.
Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean, New York University College of Nursing, discussed the implication of policy and practice for older adult care. Summing up her presentation, she said: "We plan to change one nurse at a time."
Fascinating Poster Presentations
100 poster presentations discussing palliative/end of life care, pain/pain management, transitions and chronic/acute illness 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.