Patient Care

UR Medicine Leads Nation in Transforming Care for Aging Adults

May. 9, 2024
Perioperative Medicine Team First in Country to Earn Elite Designation
Eleven member of the Center for Perioperative Medicine team.
UR Medicine's Center for Perioperative Medicine is a collaborative group focused on maximizing patient outcomes during surgery and recovery.

University of Rochester Medical Center is first in the nation to earn the elite Age-Friendly Health System Committed to Care Excellence status for its Center for Perioperative Medicine (CPM.) It is the highest recognition a center can receive for providing exceptional care for this high-risk population.

“This is a tremendous point of pride,” said Michael Eaton, MD, chair of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.  “We’re extremely proud to be the first institution to receive this honor and lead the way for other perioperative programs to recognize and manage the challenges our aging patients’ experience. The depth of planning and care provided to this rapidly growing population is critical to positive outcomes and quality of life.”

The Age-Friendly Health System is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States. At every level of care and in every setting, the systems work with patients to follow the 4Ms of high-quality care: what Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility.

The U.S. population aged 65 years and older is expected to nearly double, to an estimated 83.7 million by 2050, and experts say health systems are not equipped to reliably provide evidence-based care to older adults at every care interaction. The Age-Friendly initiative is tackling this critical issue by supporting health care providers to follow an essential set of evidence-based practices that align with what matters to the older adult and their caregivers.

“We totally redesigned how we care for aging patients who need surgeries to provide the best possible outcomes,” said Marjorie Gloff, MD, CPM director. 

Heather Lander, MD, Katlyn McBride, MD, and Renee Robinson, DNP, with support from Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, director of the University of Rochester Aging Institute, led CPM’s effort and received the Age-Friendly participant designation in January. The team demonstrated consistent use of the principles and earned the highest recognition earlier this month.

The innovative perioperative program includes presurgical assessments, patient and provider education, prehabilitation, and optimization efforts to tailor care throughout the presurgical, post-operative and recovery processes.

“We take a holistic approach, considering not only patients’ medical problems but also their diet and nutrition, risk for falls, home support, and vulnerabilities to determine if they are ready for surgery,” said Lander, a 2020 Geriatric Faculty Scholar and current UCSF Tideswell Scholar. “We serve as another set of eyes providing an extra review and checkpoint for older adults preparing for surgery.”

Collaboration and smooth transitions of care at every step help support the patients, McBride said. “Aging patients often need time-sensitive treatments that can be life changing.”

Today, there are more than 3,000 U.S. health care systems and programs that hold Age-Friendly designations, including Strong Memorial, Highland and Jones Memorial hospitals, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, Strong’s Geriatric Fracture Center, UR Medicine Geriatric Group, Specialized Oncology Care and Research for our Elders Clinic at Wilmot Cancer Center, and Jones Memorial Medical practices in Andover, Belmont, Bolivar, and Wellsville’s Loder, Martin and North Main streets sites.