OU Health Named Age-Friendly Health System

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Institute for Healthcare Improvement recently named OU Health as an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence. The designation recognizes OU Health as a leader in the rapidly growing movement committed to the care of older adults.

An age-friendly health system is one in which every older adult’s care:

  • Is guided by an essential set of age-friendly, evidence-based practices across the “4Ms” – what Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility.
  • Causes no harm.
  • Is consistent with what matters to older adults and their families.

The model focuses on improved safety, improved outcomes, increased patient and family engagement, reduced length of hospitalization and avoiding readmissions of older adults.

Achieving the Age-Friendly Health System designation was a months-long process - a united effort of the University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing and OU Health, with the initiative drawing heavily upon the wealth of expertise available at the college. Teri Round, M.S., BSN, R.N., NE-BC, executive director, Clinical Operations with the college, said Age-Friendly recognition was a joint effort from the start, involving leaders within the college and OU Health.

“We’re proud to be in collaboration with the first health system in Oklahoma to receive recognition in this nationwide initiative,” said Round. “Working with the hospital on many levels, it’s especially exciting as we prepare for next year’s opening of OU Health’s new patient tower.”

“As the nation faces unprecedented growth of an aging population, OU Health’s commitment to patient safety and excellent care is unwavering,” said Cathy Pierce, M.S., RNC, CENP, chief nurse executive, OU Health. “The care of older adults often presents unique demands; their needs may be quite complex. We are especially proud of this recognition and grateful for the opportunities we have to improve health and quality of life for mature adults who face health challenges.”

Currently, there are more than 46 million Americans age 65 and older, and the number is expected to double by 2060. Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States. The goal of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is to rapidly spread the 4Ms framework to 20 percent of the nation’s hospitals and medical practices by 2020.



OU Health — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Health was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.