Age-Friendly Health Systems

Addressing the unique care needs of older adults.

Age-friendly health care is an urgent need. There are more than 46 million Americans age 65 and over, and that number is projected to double to more than 98 million by 2060.

Many older adults have more than one chronic disease and take multiple medications. Many individuals in this population of people live with uncertainty as they transition from living independently to reliance on others.

Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). The goal of the initiative is to rapidly spread the 4Ms Framework to 20% of U.S. hospitals and medical practices by 2020.

It is part of the AHA’s commitment to improving the health of people at every life stage and in communities across the country.

The “4Ms” Framework

  • What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across settings of care.
  • Medications: If medications are necessary, use age-friendly medications that do not interfere with What Matters, Mentation or Mobility.
  • Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat and manage depression, dementia and delirium across settings of care.
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.

An Age-Friendly Health System is one in which every older adult’s care:

  • Is guided by an essential set of evidence-based practices (the 4Ms);
  • Causes no harms; and
  • Is consistent with What Matters to the older adult and their family.

Additional information and resources about the Age Friendly Health Systems Initiative and 4Ms Framework can be found at Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

 
 
 

the AHA Action Community

Join the movement to spread the 4Ms Framework to 1,000 hospitals and medical practices by December 2020.

The AHA is convening a second Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community in September 2020. Age-Friendly Health Systems action communities, led by AHA and IHI, test the 4Ms Framework in hospital and ambulatory settings, sharing learnings in a seven-month virtual community. Download the invitation guide and enroll below.

The first AHA Action Community concluded in April 2020, with 184 health care teams and 12 allied associations across the U.S. participating.

The benefits of the Action Community include:

  • Redeploying and prioritizing existing hospital/health system resources.
  • Supporting your health organization’s mission, vision and values.
  • Putting your organization ahead of the curve in preparing for the impending market shift.
  • Achieving “Age-Friendly Health Systems Participant” or "Committed to Care Excellence" recognition. 

To find out more about the Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community, download a flyer. View more information about IHI's 2020 Action Community. Email ahaactioncommunity@aha.org for additional information or to ask questions.

Join AHA Action Community

Learn about AHA Action Community

Join the webinar below to learn more about the AHA Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community and hear from hospitals about their age-friendly journey.

Age Friendly Care in the Time of COVID-19, a Modern Healthcare webinar

September 3, 2020
12 p.m. CT

Should Zero Falls Be the Goal? A New Era for Reducing Injurious Falls and Healthy Aging, featuring Hackensack Meridian Health

September 10, 2020
12 p.m. CT

Learn about AHA Action Community

The AHA hosted webinars with leading hospitals to discuss the importance and impact of the 4Ms Framework and how to become an Age-Friendly Health System.

Featuring Stanford Health Care

Featuring Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Featuring Hartford Hospital

Featuring Providence St. Joseph Health

Featuring Christiana Care Health System

Featuring Christiana Care Health System

     
     
     

    Recognition

    In the 2019–2020 AHA Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community, participants implemented the 4Ms Framework across various care settings. Seventy-five teams achieved a level of “Age-Friendly” recognition.

    • "Age-Friendly Health Systems Participants" are hospitals and health care practices that have developed an action plan to showcase their commitment to putting the 4Ms into practice.
    • "Age-Friendly Health Systems – Committed to Care Excellence" have submitted counts of older adults reached with the 4Ms for at least three months.

    Visit the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's website for a complete list of hospitals and practices recognized by the Age-Friendly movement.

      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Laurel Park Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth South Asheville Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Internal Medicine Dr. Drive Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Integrative Medicine Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Forge Mountain Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Biltmore Park Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Mills River Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Parkway Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Family Medicine Hendersonville Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Family Medicine Brevard Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Hendersonville Hospital
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Burlington
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Kenosha
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Racine
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Walworth
      • Atlantic Health System - Morristown Medical Center
      • AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
      • Banner Health System - Banner University Medical Center-Tucson- Healthy Together Care Partnership
      • Banner Health System - Banner University Medical Center-Tucson
      • Bassett Healthcare Network - Bassett Medical Center
      • Bassett Healthcare Network - Fox Hospital
      • Beaumont Health - Beaumont-Royal Oak
      • Box Butte General Hospital
      • Cary Medical Center
      • Catholic Medical Center
      • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - Geriatric & Internal Medicine
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - St. Vincent Family Medicine Center
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - Rodeo Family Practice
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - DeVargus Family Medicine
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - Pojoaque Primary Care
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - St. Michael's Family Medicine Center
      • CHRISTUS St. Vincent Clinician Group - Entrada Family Medicine
      • Covenant Health - St. Joseph Hospital
      • Covenant Health - St. Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation Center
      • Dignity Health of the Central Coast - French Hospital Medical Center - ED department
      • Eisenhower Health - North Palm Desert Primary Care
      • Eisenhower Health - Cathedral City North Primary Care
      • Fillmore County Hospital
      • Hawaii Pacific Health - Skilled Nursing Facility
      • Hawaii Pacific Health - Geriatrics Consult Clinic
      • Hendricks Regional Health
      • Rural Health Resources of Jackson County - Holton Community Hospital
      • Indiana University Health - IU Health Arnett Hospital
      • Indiana University Health - IU Health Arnett Clinics - Senior Wellness Center
      • Indiana University Health - IU Health Frankfort Hospital
      • Indiana University Health (West Central Region) - IU Health Frankfort
      • Lexington Regional Health Center
      • Marion General Hospital
      • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Memorial Community Health System
      • Mount Sinai Health System - Mount Sinai Morningside
      • MUSC Health - Charleston Campus
      • MUSC Health - Medical University of South Carolina
      • Nebraska Hospital Association - Johnson County Hospital
      • Nemaha County Hospital
      • Northwell - Northwell LIJ-Forest Hills
      • Olympic Medical Center
      • Redington-Fairview General Hospital
      • Saunders Medical Center - CAH Hospital and Rural Health Clinic
      • St. James Parish Hospital
      • St. Johns Riverside Hospital - Andrus Pavilion
      • St. Johns Riverside Hospital - Dobbs Ferry
      • St. Mary's Health System/Covenant Health - Outpatient/CSS Psychiatry - Memory Clinic
      • Summa Health - Center for Senior Health
      • Summa Health - 4 South Summa Barberton Campus
      • Summa Health - 5 North Summa Health Akron City Campus
      • Tidelands Health - Waccamaw Community Hospital
      • Tri State Memorial Hospital
      • Unity Point Health - Buena Vista Regional Medical Center
      • University of Chicago Medicine/ SHARE Network - South Shore Senior Center
      • White River Medical Center
      • Witham Health Services - Witham Hospital Extended Care Unit
      • York General Health Care Services - York General Hospital
      • York Hospital - York Hospital Emergency Department and Provider Practices
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Biltmore Park Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Family Medicine Brevard Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth South Asheville Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Internal Medicine Dr. Drive Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Integrative Medicine Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Forge Mountain Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Mills River Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Parkway Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Family Medicine Hendersonville Medical Group
      • AdventHealth Hendersonville - AdventHealth Hendersonville Hospital
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Burlington
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Kenosha
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Racine
      • Advocate Aurora Health Care - Walworth
      • Atlantic Health System - Morristown Medical Center
      • Banner Health System - Banner University Medical Center-Tucson- Healthy Together Care Partnership
      • Box Butte General Hospital
      • Cary Medical Center
      • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
      • Covenant Health - St. Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation Center
      • Hawaii Pacific Health - Geriatrics Consult Clinic
      • Rural Health Resources of Jackson County - Holton Community Hospital
      • Indiana University Health - IU Health Arnett Hospital
      • Indiana University Health - IU Health Arnett Clinics - Senior Wellness Center
      • Mount Sinai Health System - Mount Sinai Morningside
      • Nebraska Hospital Association - Johnson County Hospital
      • Nemaha County Hospital
      • Saunders Medical Center - CAH Hospital and Rural Health Clinic
      • St. Mary's Health System/Covenant Health - Outpatient/CSS Psychiatry - Memory Clinic
      • Summa Health - 4 South Summa Barberton Campus
      • Summa Health - 5 North Summa Health Akron City Campus
      • Tidelands Health - Waccamaw Community Hospital
      • University of Chicago Medicine / SHARE Network - South Shore Senior Center
      • White River Medical Center
      • Witham Health Services - Witham Hospital Extended Care Unit
      • York General Health Care Services - York General Hospital
     
     
     

    Pioneer health systems

    Five pioneer U.S. health systems tested and implemented the 4Ms Framework in order to become an Age-Friendly Health System. Read their stories: to learn how they have successfully implemented the 4Ms at their organizations leading to reductions in patient length of stay and readmissions, improvement in patient family engagement and patient satisfaction, positive return on investments and improvement in patient safety.

     
     
     

    Resources

    Case Study

    Becoming an Age-Friendly Health Care System

    A member of Care New England, Kent Hospital opened an Adult Care for Elders unit to test the 4Ms Framework. Length of stay has decreased, and patient satisfaction has increased.

    Case Study

    Building an Age-Friendly Health System and Community

    Rush University Health System began implementing the 4Ms Framework to improve the lives of patients, families, caregivers and employees.

    Issue brief

    Creating Value with Age-Friendly Health Systems

    This Value Initiative issue brief highlights the 4Ms as a low-tech, value-based strategy to improve patient outcomes and experience for older adults.

    Blog

    Mindy Estes

    From the AHA Board Chair: Age-Friendly Care for the Future

    By participating in an Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community, you are preparing for the future, writes Melinda Estes, 2020 AHA board chair.

    Article

    Age-friendly doctor smiling at older female patient

    Age-Friendly Care and the Role of Hospitals and their Boards

    This AHA Trustee Insights article describes how board members can help move forward the 4Ms framework,improving care for older adults.

    Blog

    Success Story: Implementing the 4Ms at Christiana Care

    Nurses and other key stakeholders at Christiana Care embraced the 4Ms Framework, which became part of strategic planning efforts.

    Guide

    Putting the 4Ms into Practice

    Learn more about the 4Ms Framework and how to use it in practice to become an Age-Friendly Health System in the Guide to Using the 4Ms in the Care of Older Adults.

    Blog

    Making Care Better and Friendlier for Older Adults

    Personal story about caring for aging parents shared by Marie Cleary-Fishman, vice president of clinical quality at the AHA Center for Health Innovation.

    4Ms Framework for an Age-Friendly Health System

    Rush Center for Excellence in Aging highlights using the 4Ms to create an Age-Friendly Health System.

    What Is an Age-Friendly Health System?

    Mary Tinetti, M.D., chief of geriatrics at Yale School of Medicine and Yale–New Haven Hospital, describes what it means to be an Age-Friendly Health System and how to provide the best care possible to older adults.


    Partners:

    The John A. Hartford Foundation
    The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
    Catholic health ministry of the United States

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    Invitation