Each patients' needs are assessed daily by an interdisciplinary team which includes social workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, nurse practitioners, and a geriatrician, as well as the unit medical director.
The units are warmly decorated with faux wood finish instead of typical cold hallways, he says.
Sedative medications such as benzodiazepines are more judiciously used and more aggressively withdrawn.
And catheters, oxygen lines and other tethering devices are removed "to get the patient to that mobile state."
Pierluissi says that there are only about 70 to 100 focused ACE units in the country, the first of which were at Virginia Mason in Seattle and Case Western in Cleveland and Summa Health Akron, OH.
But clearly more research on improving these types of ACE models will come, he says. "As more baby boomers age, this question of what models work to reduce these kinds of complications in older people is one we'll have to address," he says.