Summa Health System improves stroke care using ace model of care

(Akron, Ohio, Embargoed until November 4, 2003 ) The Journal of American Geriatrics Society today published an article discussing the outcomes and description of an innovative model for stroke care that was developed at Summa Health System in Akron. The approach for stroke care was developed by using the experience and adaptation of Summa's nationally recognized Acute Care for Elders (ACE) unit model of care that has been in operation since 1994. Summa's stroke unit approach demonstrated decreased complication rates, decreased lengths of stay, decreased cost and improved levels of functioning for stroke patients.

Summa opened its first ACE unit in 1994 with the goal to prevent loss of personal independence and physical strength that can occur during routine hospitalization of older adults. The ACE Model's key components include comprehensive multidimensial assessment, functionally oriented patient-centered care, an interdisciplinary team that meets daily, a prepared environment that promotes functional independence, and early comprehensive transitional care planning for the next level of care. Attributes of the unit include a home-like atmosphere with non-slip carpeted hallways, cozy alcoves and a working kitchen area. With the innovative design, older patients are encouraged to maintain self-care abilities, social skills and independence while recuperating from illness and injury.

Dr. Kyle Allen, chairman of the department of geriatric medicine, says the parallels between ACE units and stroke units are not surprising.

"Both models of care seek to improve functional outcomes of hospitalized patients with complex medical and functional problems," said Allen. "Stroke and its common complications can leave hospitalized older adults vulnerable to negative outcomes because of their decreased functional and physiological reserves."

As with Summa's ACE unit, Allen and his team created a prepared environment, use of patient-centered ca

Contact: Samantha Williams
Summa Health System

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