The 2021-22 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals report named Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles one of the Best Hospitals for Geriatrics. Cedars-Sinai is among the top 10 in the nation, with the publication highlighting its “exceptional” quality of care. The magazine’s widely respected annual evaluation considered more than 1,500 hospitals to settle on the 50 that showed the highest quality of care for senior adults 75 and up, being cared for in terms of a wide range of conditions.
U.S. News gave Cedars-Sinai a national ranking across a total of 11 adult medical care specialties, listing it overall at No. 6. Also among the top 10 were two other California hospitals: UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco.
A 360-degree view of care
Cedars-Sinai’s renowned programs and treatment plans for seniors address the needs of people who remain actively employed and who live entirely independent lives, as well as those with disabilities and major medical conditions that severely limit their mobility and independence.
The hospital’s geriatrics team addresses long-term wellness and preventive healthcare needs, along with specific medical issues that include dementia and other types of age-related cognitive impairments. Its team has developed expertise in a wide range of other medical and emotional issues that affect senior adults, notably osteoarthritis, hypertension, depression, and social isolation.
The older adults that the hospital serves enjoy the benefits of access to free immunizations and diagnostic screenings. They can also take advantage of Cedars-Sinai’s free classes focused on nutrition, physical fitness, and the management of their health.
In addition, Cedars-Sinai’s Leveraging Exercise to Age in Place (LEAP) is an innovative program with a notable research component available to adults 50-plus in its local community. Working with a preventive focus, the LEAP fitness classes work on strengthening bones and bodies to correct balance problems and prevent falls while also enhancing social bonds among participants. The LEAP program offers virtual exercise classes, which are particularly appreciated during the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept many older adults at home.
A plan for addressing major health issues
An overview of just one notable Cedars-Sinai geriatrics program can illustrate the dedication, expertise, and care that goes into each of its service components geared toward older adults. Patients served through the orthopedics department’s Geriatric Fractures Program have benefited from shorter hospital stays, lower costs, and a higher quality of overall treatment experience.
The issue of fractures in older adults is of increasing importance in the world of medical care, as an aging population in the United States requires increased attention to both prevention and treatment. With more people living longer and staying alert and involved in life to a later age, they need high-quality support to help manage their health and wellness, in addition to any acute or chronic age-related conditions that may emerge.
Demographers estimate that, by the year 2060, 23 percent of the US population will be made up of adults 65 and older. Meanwhile, recent figures show that 60 percent of senior adults in the country are living with at least two chronic health conditions. These include cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, and ongoing problems with emphysema and other lung diseases.
The Cedars-Sinai orthopedics team notes that the number of hip fractures in adults around the world is anticipated to reach more than 6 million by the year 2050. Experts estimate that about 50 percent of women and more than 20 percent of men will experience an osteoporotic fracture at some point in their lives. Fractures can be life-altering, resulting in long-term mobility problems. They can even be fatal. The complex needs of these patients are best addressed by a multidisciplinary team.
One recent Cedars-Sinai-led study, published in the journal Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, centered on a cohort of geriatric patients who participated in a “pluralistic” treatment environment that included private physicians, hospitalist groups, and academic medical faculty members. The researchers found that this type of “mixed practice” fracture prevention and treatment program—as implemented by Cedars-Sinai—reduced the wait time before surgery, lowered overall hospital costs, and significantly cut the number of days hospitalized.
Cedars-Sinai is taking part in a growing trend among major hospitals: using a multidisciplinary approach to develop 21st-century senior-focused care. Its efforts, including its LEAP program, have resulted in Cedars-Sinai being named an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence by the Institute for Health Improvement, a partnership between the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
The organization specifically cites the hospital’s commitment to sustaining its targeted “age-friendly” healthcare system, particularly in the areas of putting a focus on seniors’ mental health needs, offering easy access to the most appropriate medications available, and supporting increased mobility at every stage of later life.