The OPTIMISTIC initiative is led by Dr. Kathleen Unroe and Dr. Greg Sachs. Comprised of a team of investigators with geriatrics and palliative care expertise and a professional support staff, the OPTIMISTIC project team works together with local partners, including the University of Indianapolis and Center for Aging and Community to deliver high quality nursing home care through our clinical staff. OPTIMISTIC is a large team organized into cores and smaller workgroups to accomplish project goals; cores identify deliverables and work with the appropriate team to create the deliverable. Upon completion, the work is presented to the core or delivered to clinical staff for implementation.
Clinical staff are composed of advanced practice nurses (NPs) who support program RNs, respond to urgent resident care needs with evening and weekend availability for in-person evaluation, and are site champions for training and leadership development.
Outcomes are achieved through proactive management of chronic conditions, especially dementia, through structured care management reviews; increased capacity to respond to changes in medical condition through availability of additional RN and NP resources, as well as training in INTERACT tools; optimized transitional care protocols; a comprehensive advance care planning process; and improved access to palliative care. Clinical staff are overseen by a nurse manager who works with medical leadership to deliver the intervention.