The Dementia Services Development Centre is proud to have the good advice and support of an International Advisory Board which keeps us in touch with dementia developments around the world. This blog is from Professor William J Burke MD, who has recently moved to be the director of the Stead Family Memory Center in Arizona.
Bill is also Research Professor of Psychiatry at the Arizona College of Medicine. In his work he demonstrates the combination that we know is needed: attention to patients and families, research into prevention, and a commitment through non-profit organisations to use the talents we have been given to serve our communities.
Here he is talking about the Banner Dementia Care Initiative.
“Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in the USA. We are keenly interested in providing high-quality, effective, coordinated care. Eight years ago, Banner created the Banner Alzheimer's Institute, where I work, as a center of excellence with goals of providing transformational care for patients with Alzheimer's disease and their families and to launch a new era in Alzheimer’s disease prevention research. The Banner Alzheimer’s Institute now seeks to take that dementia care model and expand it beyond the walls of the specialty setting and bring it to the primary care clinic. This effort is known as the Banner Dementia Care Initiative (BDCI).
The need for the BDCI is predicated on prior observations that large numbers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease never receive a diagnosis and thus do not receive the care they deserve. BDCI therefore seeks to identify persons with dementia in the primary care setting by identifying patients in the clinic likely to have cognitive difficulties based on risk factors such as age and pattern of medication use. Once identified, these cognitively impaired adults will undergo a diagnostic assessment to determine the cause and the severity of their impairment. Once a diagnosis is reached, further care will be tailored using established dementia care pathways that reflect the needs of the patient and their loved ones. These care pathways will be directed within the primary care practice and will be facilitated by a dementia care manager with consultation, as needed, with dementia specialists.
The BDCI will launch as a pilot in early 2015 in both an urban and rural primary care practice. The goal is to take what is learned from the pilot and quickly scale it up in a stepped fashion throughout the Banner system as one step toward ultimately helping the system become more dementia capable. The long term bet is that the BDCI can demonstrate that clinically effective, optimally delivered dementia care is not only the right things to do for patients and families but also cost-effective. Such a demonstration would not only be important for Banner Health but for the world as a whole as we strive to find ways to improve care delivery for those with dementia.”
The Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling is honoured to be associated with Professor Burke and we look forward to welcoming him to some of our events in the UK during our 25th Anniversary here.