Mercers Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA)
MIRA has evolved into a new institute which will be completed in 2015. MISA will be a state of the art comprehensive facility combining prevention and clinical care, research and teaching in the same location. It will explore novel approaches to health care of older people and it will establish a range of rapid access ambulatory clinics. It will use modern information technology systems to promote wellness and independent living in the community. It will provide leadership in gerontology at both national and international levels.
MISA will be well resourced, multidisciplinary in focus and will lead by example, as well as through formal teaching and practical training in all aspects of health, policy and social care which would be driven by high quality research.
MISA will be housed in a purpose built environment that will take advantage of recent advances in the architectural design of buildings for older people. There will be innovative early diagnostic and rapid access ambulatory care clinics. There will also be in-patient acute assessment, rehabilitation and a continuing care unit. These will provide a state of the art treatment centre and training facility for all professionals specialising in care of older people. It is envisaged that MISA will become fully integrated with the surrounding community allowing new models of health and social care to be developed and tested in collaboration with primary care.
MISA will be based on a hub and spoke model with the hub consisting of a modern facility with a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment services fully integrated with strong research and training facilities, and the spokes representing co-ordinated out-reach links to the community. The location of MISA on one site maximises the use of specialty skills and technology to ensure early assessment and intervention before disability is established. By fully integrating clinical care, training, education, policy and research in ageing, the centre maximises the potential to deliver solutions to the complex problems that face an ageing society. The combination of ambulatory care, inpatient treatment and strong community links will facilitate a seamless pathway of care.
MISA will engage with technology partners to create a clinically based research and development environment to enable convergence of technology innovation with healthcare services. MISA is currently partnered with research groups from Intel and General Electric and houses the TRIL Clinic (Technology Research for Independent Living).
MISA will provide ‘state of the art’ health care for older people through innovative practice models that will allow easy and rapid access to specialist multidisciplinary assessment and treatment. The service model will at all times embrace innovation and novel technologies using evidence based practice and will have built within it a strong research and evaluation process. MISA will promote and highlight the creativity of older people and enable them to express themselves through art, sculpturing, poetry, literature, music and drama.
Modern information technology has potential for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, as well as to reduce isolation, promote security, provide mental stimulation, and improve morale and thereby increase the quality of life of older people. Technology can be used to develop remote monitoring systems to promote wellness and to significantly enhance social support mechanisms for frail older people living in their own homes. The same technology can be used to develop systems for monitoring the health of older people in the home and relaying the information centrally for analysis. A development unit will pioneer I.T. communication systems and will develop protocols for their introduction and use.
The acquisition of knowledge and information and the development and maintenance of professional skills are of paramount importance in improving health and social care for older people. For this reason, MISA will have training and education as one of its main components. The training and education component will promote health care professional training in ageing at all levels and will integrate training in ageing on a single site using an interdisciplinary approach, thereby allowing for broader learning opportunities than the traditional single disciplinary training exposure.
MISA will be physically located adjacent to the Wellcome Clinical Research Centre thus facilitating access to clinical research resources.