FAIRBURY – Gardenside long-term care at Jefferson Community Health Center has been recognized by CIMRO Nebraska as one of 10 long-term care facilities in the state of Nebraska to reduce the use of antipsychotic medication by 40 percent or more last year.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in 2012 with the goal of reducing antipsychotic drug usage in the nation’s nursing homes. CIMRO of Nebraska and other Nebraska stakeholders have been providing educational opportunities and monitoring the rates of antipsychotic medication use throughout Nebraska.
From Quarter 1 2013 to Quarter 3 2013, Gardenside long-term care at Jefferson Community Health Center had a 46 percent reduction of long-stay residents receiving an antipsychotic medication.
Gardenside staff members have been working with an interdisciplinary team, including nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, dietary, activity and social service staff to improve the quality of care provided for all residents and to create a more “homelike” environment. Gardenside has implemented additional therapy and diversional activities and restructured scheduled cares.
“We have also worked with our nurses, our consulting pharmacists and our physicians to review all of the medications that our residents use, on an on-going basis to determine appropriateness of medication, appropriate follow up and other possible interventions that can be used in place of medication,” said Deb Sutton RN, direct of nursing at Gardenside long-term care. “Antipsychotic medications are appropriate and necessary for some residents but we continue to review the use of those medications for possible reductions and to assure that we are not seeing undesirable side effects from the use of these medications.”
Nursing and direct care staff members have also been attending educational offerings on the reduction of antipsychotic medication use in the elderly to help Gardenside on its journey.
A letter from CIMRO highlighting this achievement stated: “You should be very proud of the progress your home has made in this quality measure, along with the improvement of quality of care and quality of life for Nebraska nursing home residents.”
CIMRO is asking the long-term care facilities which have made improvements to share their strategies with other facilities through the Great Plains Quality Care Collaborative.
“We are pleased to share with others the strategies we have used to make this important improvement for our residents,” Sutton said.