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For Release: Aug. 30, 2013 – Leslea Bennett-Webb, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Antipsychotic Drug Use Decreases in Oklahoma Nursing Homes

Oklahoma nursing homes are using antipsychotic drugs less and instead pursuing more patient-centered treatment for dementia and other behavioral health care, according to new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Oklahoma is one of 11 states that reduced antipsychotic drug usage in nursing home facilities by 15 percent this year.

Unnecessary antipsychotic drug use is a significant challenge in dementia care. Antipsychotic drugs are commonly prescribed to control behaviors and can have detrimental effects on health including oversedation, increased confusion, weakness, falls, and weight loss.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) served as the lead organization for the “Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Oklahoma Nursing Homes,” organized in June 2012.The Oklahoma partnership focused on developing a series of provider, prescriber, and consumer training programs that included multi-media training tools such a computer-assisted interactive training and flexible Internet videos that may be utilized in any setting.

Forty workshops were conducted in 2012-2013 and 100 personalized on-site visits were administered by OSDH surveyors in nursing home facilities to provide technical consultation and training on dementia care and reduction of antipsychotic drugs.

At the end of this first year of implementation, the rate of inappropriate antipsychotic drug use for residents with dementia in Oklahoma nursing homes has dropped 15.68 percent, exceeding the CMS national benchmark of 15 percent for that time period.

“We are pleased this partnership has yielded successful results and we look forward to working together to continue to make a difference in the lives of nursing home residents with dementia,” said Dorya Huser, director, OSDH Long Term Care Service.

Collaborating on the project with the OSDH was the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, the regional Alzheimer's Association, the Oklahoma Culture Change Coalition, OU School of Pharmacy, and Oklahoma nursing homes and provider associations.



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