Media Contacts

Kathy Wilets

Director, Public Affairs
Email: Kathy.Wilets@utah.edu

Mar 11, 2022 8:00 AM

March 11, 2022 - The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has recognized University of Utah Health as achieving Age-Friendly Health System (AFHS) – Committed to Care Excellence. The designation recognizes a system-wide commitment to improving the health and well-being of older adults.

“Achieving Age-Friendly Committed to Care Excellence recognition from the IHI is a significant milestone for University of Utah Health that differentiates our health system as a local, regional, and national exemplar for age-friendly care,” says Timothy Farrell, M.D., A.G.S.F., Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief for Age-Friendly Care within the Division of Geriatrics at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine.

The AFHS initiative focuses on four evidence-based elements of high-quality care for older adults, known as the 4Ms: What Matters, Mentation (or Mind), Mobility, and Medication. 

  • What matters indicates knowing and aligning care with an older adult’s special health goals, including end-of-life care.
  • Medication indicates a focus on medication that does not interfere with mobility or mental health across settings of care.
  • Mentation indicates a focus on preventing, identifying, treating, and managing dementia, depression, and delirium across settings of care.
  • Mobility ensures older adults move safely in care settings, avoid slips and falls, and are able to maintain function.

University of Utah Health is one of a select group of health care organizations nationwide to receive the Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence recognition, standing at the forefront of the effort to improve care for a growing segment of the United States population. Farrell says the impact of this designation will be felt for years to come. “Age-Friendly Health Systems are poised to combat ageism, defined as discrimination against a person solely on the basis of age, by recognizing older adults as a population worthy of our respect and ensuring that they receive care tailored to their needs,” he says.

With this special recognition comes the responsibility for University of Utah Health, as an academic health center, to share the skills and knowledge gained through the AFHS initiative.  Farrell and his colleagues plan to do just that at the local, regional, and national levels, describing one future opportunity to advance this initiative. “We plan to be a thought leader that actively develops, implements, and evaluates age-friendly outcome measures for adoption by health systems across the country,” Farrell says. This is one of many steps the professionals at University of Utah Health will take to ensure an excellent patient experience for older adults now and in the future.  

For more information on Age-Friendly Health Systems, visit:  

Age Friendly Health System | Geriatrics | University of Utah Health

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