For the fourth year in a row, OakBend Medical Center has earned the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) designation. This designation recognizes OakBend’s ongoing commitment to geriatric nursing care. The NICHE program is designed to upgrade the quality of care for older adult patients by increasing awareness of geriatric issues, improving staff competence in nursing care of the elderly, and supporting the implementation of hospital geriatric protocols.
NICHE’s goal is to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit the care of older adults in all healthcare settings, and its vision is for all patients 65 and over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. 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.
In December of 2014, OakBend opened its ACE (Acute Care for the Elderly) Unit, the only unit of its kind in Fort Bend County. The 13-bed Unit promotes the NICHE concepts. In 2017 the unit was renamed The Jack and Billie Wendt Acute Care for the Elderly Unit.
NICHE provides materials and services necessary to stimulate and support the planning and implementation process. The focus is on programs and protocols that are dominantly under the control of nursing practice. Or, in other words, areas where nursing interventions have a substantive and positive impact on patient care.
“We are excited about the renewal of our NICHE designation,” exclaimed Michelle Ziakas, Assistant Vice President of Nursing at OakBend Medical Center, “the nurses in this Unit are exceptional. We feel as though our patients are part of our family and we strive to get them well so they can go home and back to their families as quickly as possible.”