The American Geriatrics Society has recommended a reexamination of the roles and deployment of providers with expertise in geriatric medicine. Healthcare systems use a variety of strategies to maximize their geriatric expertise. In general, these health systems tend to focus geriatric medicine resources on a group of older adults that are locally defined as the most in need. This article describes a model of care within an academic urban public health system and describes how local characteristics interact to define the domain of geriatric medicine. This domain is defined using 4 years of data from an electronic medical record combined with data collected from clinical trials. From January 2002 to December 2005, 31,443 adults aged 65 and older were seen at any clinical site within this healthcare system. The mean age was 75 (range 65-105); 61% were women; 35% African American, and 2% Hispanic. The payer mix was 80% Medicare and 17% Medicaid. The local geriatric medicine program includes sites of care in inpatient, ambulatory, nursing home, and home-based settings. By design, this geriatric medicine clinical practice complements the care provided to older adults by the primary care practice. Primary care physicians tend to cede care to geriatric medicine for older adults with advanced disability or geriatric syndromes. This is most apparent for older adults in nursing facilities or those requiring home-based care. There is a dynamic interplay between design features, reputation, and capacity that modulates volume, location, and type of patients seen by geriatrics.
"Furthermore, complex adaptive systems are characterized by emergent behaviors as opposed to predetermined behaviors and self-organized controls instead of hierarchical controls.13–18 Health care delivery organizations, universities, and internet-based social networks are considered examples of complex adaptive systems.6,11–19 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The US Institute of Medicine has recommended an integrated, locally sensitive collaboration among the various members of the community, health care systems, and research organizations to improve dementia care and dementia research.
Using complex adaptive system theory and reflective adaptive process, we developed a professional network called the "Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia" (IDND). The IDND facilitates effective and sustainable interactions among a local and diverse group of dementia researchers, clinical providers, and community advocates interested in improving care for dementia patients in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The IDND was established in February 2006 and now includes more than 250 members from more than 30 local (central Indiana) organizations representing 20 disciplines. The network uses two types of communication to connect its members. The first is a 2-hour face-to-face bimonthly meeting open to all members. The second is a web-based resource center (http://www.indydiscoverynetwork.org ). To date, the network has: (1) accomplished the development of a network website with an annual average of 12,711 hits per day; (2) produced clinical tools such as the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor and the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale; (3) translated and implemented the collaborative dementia care model into two local health care systems; (4) created web-based tracking software, the Enhanced Medical Record for Aging Brain Care (eMR-ABC), to support care coordination for patients with dementia; (5) received more than USD$24 million in funding for members for dementia-related research studies; and (6) adopted a new group-based problem-solving process called the "IDND consultancy round."
A local interdisciplinary "think-tank" network focused on dementia that promotes collaboration in research projects, educational initiatives, and quality improvement efforts that meet the local research, clinical, and community needs relevant to dementia care has been built.
"Wishard Health Services includes a 350-bed hospital and a network of eight primary care centers in Indianapolis. It also includes a Senior Care program staffed by faculty in an academic geriatric medicine program that includes services such as an Acute Care for Elders Unit, a physician house calls program, and specialty geriatric ambulatory care services provided in the Center for Senior Health . Geriatric ambulatory care services include the Healthy Aging Brain Center (HABC)  and the Aging Brain Care-Medical Home (ABC-MedHome) . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Given the current lack of disease-modifying therapies, it is important to explore new models of longitudinal care for older adults with dementia that focus on improving quality of life and delaying functional decline. In a previous clinical trial, we demonstrated that collaborative care for Alzheimer's disease reduces patients' neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as caregiver stress. However, these improvements in quality of life were not associated with delays in subjects' functional decline. Trial design Parallel randomized controlled clinical trial with 1:1 allocation. Participants A total of 180 community-dwelling patients aged [greater than or equal to]45 years who are diagnosed with possible or probable Alzheimer's disease; subjects must also have a caregiver willing to participate in the study and be willing to accept home visits. Subjects and their caregivers are enrolled from the primary care and geriatric medicine practices of an urban public health system serving Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Interventions All patients receive best practices primary care including collaborative care by a dementia care manager over two years; this best practices primary care program represents the local adaptation and implementation of our prior collaborative care intervention in the urban public health system. Intervention patients also receive in-home occupational therapy delivered in twenty-four sessions over two years in addition to best practices primary care. The focus of the occupational therapy intervention is delaying functional decline and helping both subjects and caregivers adapt to functional impairments. The in-home sessions are tailored to the specific needs and goals of each patient-caregiver dyad; these needs are expected to change over the course of the study.Objective To determine whether best practices primary care plus home-based occupational therapy delays functional decline among patients with Alzheimer's disease compared to subjects treated in the control group. Outcomes The primary outcome is the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Studies Group Activities of Daily Living Scale; secondary outcome measures are two performance-based measures including the Short Physical Performance Battery and Short Portable Sarcopenia Measure. Outcome assessments for both the caregiver-reported scale and subjects' physical performance scales are completed in the subject's home. Randomization Eligible patient-care giver dyads will be stratified by clinic type and block randomized with a computer developed randomization scheme using a 1:1 allocation ratio. Blinding Single blinded. Research assistants completing the outcome assessments were blinded to the subjects' treatment group. Trial status Ongoing ClinicalTrial.Gov identifier NCT01314950; date of completed registration 10 March 2011; date first patient randomized 9 March 2011.
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