Friday, May 30, 2008

IOM report on medical care for the elderly

The Institute of Medicine recently released a report from the workgroup charged with assessing geriatric care in the US, including how our clinicians are trained, trends in the expected demand for geriatric care and the clinical workforce that cares for them -- it also proposes recommendations for changes that need to happen to effectively meet the needs of this growing group. The report is titled "Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce" and you can read it for free on the IOM website.

The IOM's overview notes:
The resulting report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, says that as the population of seniors grows to comprise approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and critically unprepared to meet their health needs. The committee concluded that if our aging family members and friends are to continue to live robustly and in the best possible health, we need bold initiatives designed to

- explore ways to broaden the duties and responsibilities of workers at various levels of training;
- better prepare informal caregivers to tend to the needs of aging family members and friends; and
- develop new models of health care delivery and payment as old ways sponsored by federal programs such as Medicare prove to be ineffective and inefficient.
The AMNews also has a nice synopsis of the report and links to the AMA's initiative focusing on caring for the elderly and several advocacy initiatives related to geriatric health.



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