In the US and other countries, the chances of living until a very old age go up every day. Yet the systems currently in place in the US to look after older adults do not work as they should, especially for those people who are frail, have multiple comorbidities, or multiple care needs. One hears stories of good care, but far too often we hear about services that are unaffordable, inefficient, fragmented, and do not meet patients and families' most pressing needs. These problems will only continue to worsen as the population ages and more people become frail. It is more urgent than ever that we raise the effectiveness and appropriateness of the service system targeted toward these older adults. In fact, care for this population is likely to be a key driver of better outcomes and reduced costs for the entire health care system — by avoiding unnecessary and unwanted acute care. Organizations around the country are developing and testing innovative solutions to this growing problem. These improved service delivery models are more efficient, less expensive, and focus on the needs and desires of the patient. The ability to get started now is within every provider’s reach.
In order to accelerate these promising models of care delivery, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is offering a new seminar called Frail Older Adults: Building a Care System. Over the course of two days, our expert faculty will provide participants with a community-based, systems approach for providing reliable, efficient care that is person-centered and reduces unnecessary costs. While many people can envision as ideal state, this program offers tools, best practices, real-world examples, and the “how-to” knowledge that each participant can bring back to their organization to implement to begin to see real change. This systems approach provides the foundation and supports for great care—a system that can bring together all the ingredients and continue to evolve as more and more of our older population lives with the multiple challenges of frailty.