Senior Friendly Hospitals (SFH)

Provincial Initiative

Who is SFH for?

The vision of Senior Friendly Hospitals is to optimize the health and wellness of older adults while they are receiving care in hospital for a safe transition home. The Senior Friendly Hospital collaborative, numbering 87 hospitals across Ontario, work together and share their successes in quality improvement focusing on senior friendly care and service. With the launch of the Senior Friendly Care Framework (October 2017), the SFH collaborative is now a part of the crosssectoral sfCare network.

What makes SFH so revolutionary?

The success is a remarkable example of how health system research can be translated into real practice change at a system level. The strategy was underpinned by the RGPs framework, which provided the foundation for environmental scans, the identification of clinical priorities, and the creation of SFH ACTION.

The SFH collaborative has been supported through training, coaching, and skills development to grow into SFH implementation teams, each leading the advancement of senior friendly care at their organizations. By creating settings for meaningful inperson and virtual networking, we have enabled teams to learn and work together; sharing their knowledge, tools, and successes with one another.

How do we know policies are shifting?

The 2011 environmental scan and ‘Senior Friendly Hospital Care Across Ontario’ summary report provided a number of recommendations for hospitals to optimize their care, service, and organizationwide processes to better serve the growing number of frail seniors in the province. Ontario hospitals have responded to this call to action – there have been notable improvements in all five domains of the Senior Friendly Hospital framework. While good progress has been made, there is still important work to do.

Becoming a senior friendly organization requires more than implementing a series of initiatives. It is a long term commitment that integrates each of the five domains of the senior friendly hospital framework. Senior friendly hospitals deliver care that maximizes the potential for older patients to transition safely through the continuum of care and return to their homes. By providing an optimal care experience while improving health outcomes, senior friendly hospitals are a key enabler in Ontario’s health care system.