California City-Reducing Inappropriate Drug Use in ALFs
Reducing Inappropriate Drug Prescribing in Assisted Living Facilities
There are 3 assisted living facilities in the City of California City. Recent trends have shown that an increasing number of older adults are choosing to live in assisted living facilities across America. These older adults are often frail, battle with comorbid illnesses, and need assistance with medication management. Unfortunately, polypharmacy and inappropriate drug use occur far too often among assisted living residents. Statistics show that older adult residents are given eight to ten medications a day, on average. Polypharmacy presents a challenge for healthcare providers in these facilities, because it is related to the possibility of drug-drug interactions and negative health effects. In long-term care settings, polypharmacy is characterized by the use of more than eight drugs, or at least ten drugs. The Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, Ben Yeroushalmi, and his team of experts and attorneys know that older adults in assisted living are at high risk of being given inappropriate medications.
Inappropriate medications for elderly residents are characterized by drug- or disease-oriented criteria, implemented to all residents in a similar fashion, making it uncomplicated to use. Inappropriate medications can also be characterized more implicitly, that is, founded on clinical judgment. This may include factors that are more complex, such as effectiveness, interactions between drugs, lowest expenses, or duplications.
In 1987, the United States’ Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act successfully reduced the use of harmful psychiatric drugs among elderly residents. Antipsychotics have been known to be especially harmful to older adult patients with dementia, with a higher risk of stroke and increased mortality. Additionally, the use of psychotropic medications is highly associated with the risk of falls that result in serious injury, such as a hip fracture. Unfortunately, research shows that psychotropic medications are still being overused by long-term care facilities, without an increase in supervision by nursing staff. This form of negligence further jeopardizes frail older adult residents’ already high risk of falls, thereby increasing their likelihood of experiencing preventable injuries that result in poor health outcomes. Many studies have shown that educational interventions among nursing staff in long-term care settings have been successful in reducing the use of psychotropic drugs for institutionalized older adult patients and improving the quality of prescribing medications. Therefore, it is crucial that proper education and training is given to California City caregivers in assisted living facilities that are directly responsible for helping older adult residents manage their medications.
A recent study published by the journal Trials by BioMed Central, discovered that staff training in assisted living facilities had an effect in decreasing the use of harmful, inappropriate, psychotropic medications and enhancing the quality of life among frail older adult residents. The training was pragmatic in nature, and given to care professionals who actually worked with assisted living facility residents. The nurses who participated in the study were trained to identify inappropriate medications, whereas the final determination to stop these drugs was made by physicians consulting to these facilities. Therefore, the intervention proved to be effective and could be easily implemented.
The attorneys and experts at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi believe that care staff in California City assisted living facilities has no excuse in prescribing harmful medications to their elderly residents. If you or a loved one has suffered from negative health outcomes due to medication errors made by California City assisted living facility staff, contact elder abuse attorney Ben Yeroushalmi immediately for a free initial consultation.