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OU College of Nursing introduces 4Ms Framework plan to improve nursing home residents' emotional well-being

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The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing sign Oct. 20, 2016.

On Wednesday, the OU Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing announced a new initiative for holistic care of nursing home residents.

A press release from OU Medicine said the new initiative will be focused on what nursing home residents say matters to them and will aim to improve their emotional well-being.

“Traditionally, nursing homes have followed a model of care emphasizing the medical needs of residents,” the release said. “Too often, this approach fails to encompass other factors that contribute to a person’s well-being, including emotional, psycho-social and spiritual needs.”

Diana Sturdevant, assistant professor of research at the college of nursing, said in the release that medical personnel have been so focused on residents' medical well-being, their emotional well-being has been overlooked.

The release said that it starts by asking a simple question: “What matters?” 

The release also said Sturdevant and her colleague Teri Round, executive director of clinical operations at the college, are introducing Oklahoma nursing homes to the 4Ms Framework. The approach is an outgrowth of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, a designation achieved by OU Medicine in 2019.

“The 4Ms Framework comes from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the OU College of Nursing is among the first in the nation to adapt it to nursing homes from its origin in hospitals,” the release said. “The 4Ms — What Matters, Medications, Mentation and Mobility — are evidence-based elements shown to improve health and well-being by placing nursing home residents at the center of their care.”

According to the release, the medication portion of the 4Ms Framework focuses on prescribing older patients medications that will not interfere with the other M’s and trying to find ways to make their lives more comfortable and livable.

The mentation portion focuses on a patients’ mental health and will work to combat depression, dementia and delirium in older patients.

The final M, mobility, will aim to reduce falls in older patients and improve overall quality of life.

The release said the OU College of Nursing received "a grant of nearly $1 million for the 4Ms initiative." The grant comes from the Civil Money Penalties program, administered by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The grant was paid for by fines nursing homes were charged, and the money can only be used for quality improvement projects.

Christian Hans is a journalism junior at OU and news reporter for The Daily.

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