The Department of Family Medicine at the American University of Beirut Medical Center is recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System–Committed to Care Excellence of Older Adults by the Institute for Health Improvement (IHI)-USA
A Milestone in Patient-Centered Care and Excellence
On October 11, 2023, the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) community gathered to celebrate the Department of Family Medicine's remarkable achievement as an Age-Friendly Health System, recognized for its commitment to excellence in care for older adults by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the United States.
The opening presentation of Dr. Umayya Musharrafieh, the interim chairperson of the Department of Family Medicine, emphasized the department's commitment to patient-centered care and the relentless pursuit of excellence in quality improvement. The department's focus on embracing age-friendly practices in primary care has resulted in older adults receiving timely, comprehensive, and coordinated care that addresses their specific health needs and goals. This approach not only improves the quality of life for older patients but also leads to better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs over time.
Furthermore, Dr. Musharrafieh highlighted the effort to create an environment where every patient is seen as a unique individual with distinct needs, preferences, and experiences. The achievement of this prestigious certification was made possible through a strong partnership with the Quality, Accreditation, and Risk Management (QARM) team, Nursing Department, and Office of Information Technology (IT), whose collective contributions were instrumental in this accomplishment.
Dr. Georges Assaf, director of quality within the Department of Family Medicine, provided a detailed overview of the implementation of the 4Ms Framework of an Age-Friendly Health System. This framework revolves around the core principle of understanding and addressing What Matters Most to older adults, while also encompassing essential care elements related to Mentation (mental health), Medication (medication management), and Mobility.
Dr. Assaf recognized and commended the unwavering dedication displayed by the department's primary care physicians, as well as the seamless interprofessional collaboration involving nursing, quality, and IT services. Their shared commitment to excellence played a pivotal role in achieving recognition as an Age-Friendly Health System, dedicated to providing outstanding care for older adults. The success of this initiative highlights the imperative of expanding its reach to other departments within AUBMC, ensuring that its benefits are accessible throughout the entire institution.
Dr. Raymond Sawaya, vice president for medical affairs and the Raja N. Khoury Dean of the Faculty of Medicine commended the Department of Family Medicine for fulfilling the certification requirements within a short period, attributing this success to strong collaboration between various departments.
During the event, Mr. Rawad Jamaleddine, director of the Quality, Accreditation and Risk Management Department; Mr. Mustafa Soukie, nurse leader for clinical affairs for Ambulatory Services and Adult Oncology Unit; and Mrs. Rula Antoun, director of Medical Center Applications, shared their insights about the significance of this initiative and the exemplary contributions of their respective teams to this transformative journey.
The event also featured a special message from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the USA, recognizing the impact of this initiative beyond the institution. The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of the 4Ms Star Awards, acknowledging those who demonstrated the highest compliance with the Age-friendly 4Ms assessment and their exceptional commitment to Age-Friendly care for older adults:
- The Physician 4Ms Star Award was presented to Dr. Nabil Sharah
- The Resident 4Ms Star Award was presented to Dr. Rita El Tawil
- The Nurse 4Ms Star Award was presented to Ms. Haifa Said
In closing, the Department of Family Medicine, expressed sincere gratitude to all participants for their contribution to this momentous event. The evening concluded with a delightful buffet reception, celebrating the success and continued commitment to age-friendly healthcare.