CPMC’s HELP Program for Older Adults Receives Top Designation from AGS
CPMC becomes fifth U.S. medical center to achieve elite ‘Center of Excellence’ status
California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco is now one of only five organizations in the United States to achieve the American Geriatric Society (AGC) CoCare: HELP™ Center of Excellence designation for its Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP). CPMC was recently awarded this elite status after demonstrating the highest level of best practices in geriatric care.
“I am so proud of our dedicated team at CPMC for all their hard work in building a world-class geriatric care program,” says hospitalist and geriatrician Wendy Zachary, M.D., who directs CPMC’s Acute Care for Elderly (ACE) unit and is the HELP physician-champion. “This accreditation from the American Geriatric Society validates and strengthens our mission to provide patient-centered, advanced care for older members of our community who are particularly medically vulnerable–especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Watch this video about CPMC’s ACE unit.
Targeted Interventions Lead to Better Outcomes for People Ages 70+
The AGC CoCare: HELP™ program is designed to prevent both delirium and functional decline in patients 70 years and older. CPMC’s HELP program uses an interdisciplinary team (Advanced Practice Nurses, specially-trained Elder Life Specialists, and trained volunteers) to integrate principles of geriatric care into standard nursing and medical care at all three CPMC hospital campuses in San Francisco, including the ACE unit at the Mission Bernal Campus, as well as the Van Ness Campus and Davies Campus.
Geriatric syndromes include conditions typical of aging such as delirium, incontinence, falls, pressure injuries, and functional decline. CPMC’s HELP program works to prevent these geriatric syndromes in the hospital setting by helping re-orient patients to their surroundings through conversation and social support, assisting with range-of-motion and breathing exercises, walking, offering companionship during meals, implementing a schedule, and more.
Benefits of HELP at CPMC include:
- Helps maximize independence and physical functioning of high-risk patients (age 70+)
- Improves overall quality of hospital care for older patients, including improvement in hospital outcomes and satisfaction with care
- Helps decrease the length of stay for patients by an average of 1- 1.5 days
- Helps reduce hospital readmissions
- Van Ness Campus’ HELP program saw a decrease in readmissions by 11% in 2020 Q1, 17% in 2019, and 24% in 2018
- Mission Bernal Campus’ HELP program prevented more than 30 readmissions in 2019
- Helps reduce falls for older patients by as much as 50% at the Van Ness Campus and Davies Campus (2019)
- Provides cost-effective care, with reduced overall hospital costs by as much as $2 Million across each of the three campuses in 2019
“The HELP program is making a meaningful difference in changing the course of lives for elderly patients and their loved ones, and I am truly grateful for our staff, volunteers and support from our philanthropic donors who helped make this elite recognition possible,” said Warren Browner, M.D., CEO of CPMC.
Mission Bernal Campus Hub of Geriatric Care in San Francisco
While CPMC’s HELP program is carried out across all its three campuses, its Mission Bernal Campus is home to the medical center’s comprehensive ACE unit and one of only three accredited Geriatric Emergency Departments in Northern California.
“These differentiators of specialty care for older adults and this recent acknowledgement from the AGS further highlights CPMC’s commitment to geriatric care and cements our Mission Bernal Campus as a hub of geriatric patient care in San Francisco and the broader Bay Area,” says Vernon Giang, M.D., chief medical executive of Sutter’s CPMC.