Systems Addressing Frail Elders (SAFE) Care is a geriatric model of care that identifies high-risk hospitalized older adults, and provides targeted interprofessional interventions for risk factors associated with frailty. This post, mixed methods study sought to evaluate SAFE Care implementation retrospectively at one public academic medical center and describe practical “real-world” considerations for implementation using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). In addition to barriers and facilitators, hidden characteristics to consider for implementation include initiating conditions, skills and experiences of implementers, interpersonal challenges, unique facilitators and barriers, surprising conditions, and threats to and requirements for sustainability. Implementation of SAFE Care demonstrated effective adoption and implementation, but faced multiple threats that led to failed sustainability. The public sharing of these successes and failures will help implementers understand and make progress in adapting such important geriatric programs and quality improvement initiatives.
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