Health Systems Can Improve the Quality of Care of Older Adults

Dr. Calvin Hirsch

September 15, 2022


As older people age, health systems must adapt to meet their needs. New technology and innovation will drive change, and discerning consumers will become aware of the avoidable harms that can occur. Lawsuits, penalties, and increased public expectations will pressure organizations to change. The health systems that adapt will lead by example and build a reputation as best-in-class systems.

Patient Priorities Care model

The Patient Priorities Care (PPC) model is a process for determining a patient’s priorities for care. This process involves identifying and documenting a patient’s needs and preferences. The patient’s preferences are then used to inform the clinical decision-making process. This approach could be applied to various healthcare settings, including group practices and health systems.

The Patient Priorities Care model aims to improve the quality of care for older adults with multiple chronic conditions. First, it involves identifying each patient’s health priorities, treatment goals, and preferences. Once these are determined, a doctor can choose a treatment plan based on those priorities.


Care for older adults is complex and time-consuming. More than 60 percent of older adults currently suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Unfortunately, this type of care is costly, both for patients and health systems. Furthermore, there is a lack of data regarding whether this type of care improves health outcomes.

Health systems must make changes in organizational leadership and design to improve care for older adults. This means developing strong relationships between senior-level leadership and community-based resources. In addition, the delivery system should be redesigned to include evidence-based models, evidence-based decision support, and improved information systems.

Electronic health records

While hospitals have made significant investments in adopting EHRs, their implementation may not be tailored for optimal gains in health outcomes for older adults. While the benefits of EHRs are apparent, there are still concerns about privacy and accuracy. In addition, EHRs may increase the risk of clinician burnout and disruption of the patient-clinician relationship.

One of the most significant challenges faced by healthcare organizations is the aging population in the United States. By 2030, the U.S. population will primarily be composed of people 65 and older. In addition, one out of five people will be approaching retirement age, and aging will pose severe challenges for healthcare providers.

Alternatives to hospitalization

Alternatives to hospitalization for older adults can help reduce the need for acute care. This can help improve patient outcomes, reduce the need for secondary care, and decrease reliance on community resources. However, there are several issues to consider when making this decision. These issues include age, co-morbidity, and dementia.

One of the biggest reasons to avoid hospitalization for older adults is the potential for complications. While hospitalization can alleviate the presenting condition, many older adults can experience unintended complications, including prolonged hospital stays, unanticipated medical interventions, and functional decline. These consequences are commonly referred to as “hospitalization hazards.”

Resources to support clinicians

This resource is intended to provide clinicians with information that will enhance their care of older adults. It contains articles, guidelines, and other information that can be used to improve the care of older adults. It also includes links to treatment resources, caregiving tips, and information on federal initiatives to improve the health of older adults.

The guide surveys various organizations, online tools, articles, and government websites to provide a comprehensive list of resources. Nonprofit sources are verified with the IRS Exempt Organizations database, GuideStar, and ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. In addition, it covers issues related to vulnerable older adults, such as employment, safety, nutrition, and emergency preparedness.

Tools for measuring the quality of care

Several tools are available to measure the quality of care for older adults. The ASCOT is one such tool. The results of this assessment can be used to compare care provided by different institutions. The EQLT is another tool that allows users to select relevant domains. The results from EQLT can also be used to improve the care provided.

The RAND Health group developed a system for measuring the quality of care provided to older adults. The goal is to create the minimum standard of care that should be provided to older adults. The researchers developed a list of quality indicators for four main types of health care.