Decreasing psychotropic medication use for nursing home residents with dementia
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) provide care for long-term care residents with multiple medical concerns as well as dementia. The number of the geriatric population showing dementia-related behavioral symptoms, such as agitation or screaming to get attention, is increasing. The traditional ways of using psychotropic medications to calm these residents have come under scrutiny. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the practice of administering these medications to manage residents is no longer acceptable. In a selected SNF, there was a perceived need to implement a quality improvement project to replace nonpharmacological interventions with psychotropics as a solution to resolving the behavioral problems. Although there were limitations to the project, the findings indicated that the project effectively met the objectives of reducing the frequency of using psychotropic drugs for the residents of this SNF.