What is an Age-Friendly Health System?
An age-friendly health system will measurably improve the quality of care for older adults and optimize value for health systems. It is a health care system in which:
- Older adults get the best care possible;
- Healthcare-related harms to older adults are dramatically reduced;
- Older adults and their families are satisfied with their care; and
- Value is optimized for all.
Age-Friendly Health Systems will ensure reliable implementation of the 4Ms Framework of knowing and acting on what Matters to older adults, reviewing, reducing and removing Medication that may cause harm or are unnecessary, improving the Mentation of older adults by addressing problems like dementia, delirium, depression, and ensuring Mobility.
How can my health system get involved?
- Stay in touch with us by continuing to visit this page for updates. Email AFHS@ihi.org if you would like us to contact you as the initiative expands or if you would like to join a quarterly call to review progress of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative and receive tips on "getting ready."
What are the specific areas being addressed within health systems to make them age-friendly?
There are four elements representing the most effective evidence-based models of care for older adults. These are proxies for best practices and outcomes that represent age-friendly care. They are the “4Ms”:
- 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.
- Medication: If medications are necessary, use Age-Friendly medications that do not interfere with What Matters, Mobility, or Mentation across settings of care.
- Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across care settings.
- Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.
What settings are the focus of the initiative?
The goal of the initiative is to have universal assessment and management of the “4Ms" across hospital, post-acute, and home, and ambulatory settings.
If you are interested in receiving updates on the initiative or have further questions, please contact AFHS@ihi.org.