Reducing Antipsychotics is Hard Work, but Worth the Effort
An article published in today’s issue of McKnight’s cites the slow progress in nursing homes achieving reductions in the use of antipsychotics as sought by CMS. In stark contrast to this report, I had the privilege to hear about a success story from Buckingham at Norwood at the recent American College of Healthcare Administrators Convocation in Orlando, Florida. Buckingham at Norwood is one of only three Eden Registry Members in the State of New Jersey and they are recognized by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the highest rated nursing homes in the country.
Helaine Ledany, Administrator of Buckingham, and Batsheva Katz, Vice President of Buckingham’s owner Windsor Healthcare, shared their story of how a focused effort in their community reduced the use of psychotropics to approximately 2%. They began to address this issue well before CMS made it a priority and were able to significantly reduce psychotropic usage using person-centered care techniques. But they weren’t satisfied. They committed to achieving further reductions and sought out Dementia Beyond Drugs training from The Eden Alternative. Leadership and staff at Buckingham embraced the experiential model taught by Dr. Al Power and took their initiative to reduce psychotropics to another level, reducing usage to current levels of around 2%.
Not only did they achieve their goal of reducing usage on a percentage basis, but they changed lives. They told several stories of Elders who realized significant improvements in their well-being and quality of life as a result of leaving psychotropics behind. They also talked about the benefits to staff caring for the Elders in a more person-centered way. Here, everyone was a winner and the positive results continue today as these new approaches have been embedded into the culture of the organization. This is real culture change!
So, take heart if you are struggling with this same challenge. It can be done and It can be Different!!!!