An age-friendly health system adopts four elements of high-quality care, known as the “4Ms.” The “4Ms” act as a framework used to focus on the needs of older adults: What Matters, Mentation, Medication, and Mobility. By incorporating a “What Matters” conversation, an evidence-based practice for providing care, care team members can better understand what matters to the people they care for. Their needs and goals are brought to the forefront, exemplifying MaineHealth’s value of patient centered care.
The Age Friendly Health System framework within MaineHealth was originally piloted at Maine Medical Center. Within the past year, a mechanism for documenting What Matters was built into the electronic medical record so that the information travels with the patient, no matter which provider accesses their record. In the ambulatory setting, age-friendly questions and screening for the 4Ms are now integrated with annual wellness visits and a dashboard was created to help measure this work. MaineHealth continues to expand this work in the inpatient, long term care, and outpatient/ambulatory settings. Read below to learn just one example of the importance of aligning goals through What Matters.