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Acute Care for Elders (ACE)

The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) at the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) is an interdisciplinary model of care for hospitalized older adults with a focus on maintaining and improving physical function and returning patients to a community setting.

The essential elements of ACE are:

  1. Patient centered care, with early identification of the patient’s goals of care.
  2. Prepared environment to promote independent function. This includes dedicated staff to promote early ambulation and physical activity and a community dining room.
  3. Interdisciplinary team approach to care. The ACE teams consist of bedside nurses, ACE nursing assistants, a rehabilitation specialist, a dietitian, a pharmacist, a CNS/NP, a social worker, and Geriatricians. This team is focused on ensuring safe, appropriate, effective, timely care that is consistent with each patient’s individual goals.
  4. Early discharge planning.
  5. Medication review, with an emphasis on non-pharmacologic approaches to symptom management and avoiding polypharmacy.

The ACE teams rounds daily and provide care recommendations to the primary admitting services. In addition, all staff have attended a 3-day Geriatrics Resource Nurse training session emphasizing skills needed to promote functional independence and avoid hazards commonly associated with hospitalization in older adults. The ACE units were started in February, 2007 and are located on 5C and 5D. The 22 ACE Unit beds are open to all medical and surgical services.

Team members:

Edgar Pierluissi, MD

Margarita Sotelo, MD

Annelie Nilsson, RN, MSN

Allyson Villanueva, RN, MSN

Nam Do, DrPh

David Smith, DrPh

Tiffany Luu, RD

Jenee Bryant, MSW

Nicole Kumle OT

Nicole Kunibe OT

Suzanne Bikakis, OT

Bruce Staudt, OT