Nurse Prac­ti­tion­ers Can Help Boost Qual­ity of Care for Older Pa­tients with Chronic Con­di­tions

Wellness Update - - Contents -

res­i­dents to­day are liv­ing longer than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions, thanks to im­proved pub­lic health and med­i­cal treat­ment. But they’re also liv­ing longer with chronic geri­atric health con­di­tions like de­men­tia, uri­nary in­con­ti­nence, de­pres­sion and de­bil­i­tat­ing falls, which of­ten re­quire com­plex med­i­cal care. Doc­tors spend sig­nif­i­cant time and re­sources treat­ing in­di­vid­u­als with chronic con­di­tions, and the av­er­age fam­ily physi­cian can be­come se­verely over­taxed man­ag­ing care for such pa­tients. The pic­ture be­comes even worse with chronic geri­atric con­di­tions. Sev­eral heath care treat­ment mod­els have been de­signed over the years to im­prove med­i­cal care for chronic geri­atric ail­ments. One model, for in­stance, helped im­prove pa­tient care by team­ing geri­a­tri­cians in an aca­demic med­i­cal center set­ting with nurse prac­ti­tion­ers to co-man­age care. But can the same model work in com­mu­nity-based pri­mary care set­tings? The an­swer is yes, ac­cord­ing to a UCLA-led study pub­lished in the June is­sue of the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Geri­atrics So­ci­ety. The study’s find­ings high­light the cru­cial role nurse prac­ti­tion­ers can play in treat­ing chronic geri­atric con­di­tions. “It is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear that care of chronic geri­atric con­di­tions is bet­ter when it’s done in teams,” said the study’s lead au­thor, Dr. David Reuben, chief of the geri­atrics di­vi­sion in the depart­ment of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “There are some things that nurse prac­ti­tion­ers do bet­ter than doc­tors and some things that doc­tors do bet­ter than nurse prac­ti­tion­ers.” Reuben noted while doc­tors are gen­er­ally good at treat­ing acute med­i­cal con­di­tions and those re­quir­ing highly com­plex de­ci­sion­mak­ing, some chronic con­di­tions tend to be “swept by the way­side” be­cause physi­cians ei­ther don’t have the time or are sim­ply not as skilled in deal­ing with them. The study au­thors found the per­cent­age of qual­ity in­di­ca­tors that were sat­is­fied for pa­tients whose cases were co-man­aged by a nurse prac­ti­tioner and a physi­cian was higher than for those seen only by a physi­cian. For falls, 80 per­cent of qual­ity in­di­ca­tors were sat­is­fied for co-man­aged cases, com­pared with 34 per­cent for physi­cians alone; for uri­nary in­con­ti­nence, 66 per­cent of in­di­ca­tors were sat­is­fied, com­pared with 19 per­cent; for de­men­tia, 59 per­cent were sat­is­fied, com­pared with 38 per­cent; and for de­pres­sion, 63 per­cent were sat­is­fied, com­pared with 60 per­cent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.