SARASOTA (Sept. 4, 2019) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital recently received national recognition as an “Age-Friendly Health System,” joining more than 100 hospitals in the U.S. that are implementing best practices to enhance care for older adults. The movement, led by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, aims to encourage hospitals and other care settings to deliver safe, reliable, high-quality care based on what matters most to older adults as individuals.
"Sarasota Memorial has always been a leader in patient care, and that’s why we want to participate in this important initiative," said Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) Chief Nursing Officer Connie Andersen. "We look forward to both sharing our best practices and learning what’s working for others. It’s an important part of our overarching goal to provide older adults with the best care possible.”
SMH is the only hospital in the region and one of a handful in Florida with Age-Friendly status. Health systems participating in the initiative are testing and putting into place a set of evidence-based interventions — known as the “4Ms” — which have proven to be essential in providing better care to older patients: What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility.
Examples of the “4Ms” in action at SMH include the deployment of specially trained mobility technologists in nursing areas to help patients get moving earlier during their hospital stay. Research has shown that early mobility can result in improved patient outcomes. Another 4M initiative is SMH's REACH pilot program, in which teen volunteers visit patients 65 and older on select nursing units to provide friendly conversation and activities.
Sarasota Memorial also earned special recognition for being "Committed to Care Excellence,” an honor given to organizations that have demonstrated leadership in the Age-Friendly movement by sharing data and other information that shows the impact of their efforts.
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship hospital in Sarasota, Fla., has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes. The system offers a complete continuum of care – from trauma, emergency and urgent care, to laboratory, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation and skilled nursing. SMH was recognized among the nation’s 100 top hospitals by IBM Watson Health in 2019 and remains the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality rating since the evaluation system launched in 2016.