Study: Best SNF care teams involve primary care physicians and pharmacists

Care teams that include the primary care physician and a pharmacist will have the best outcomes for those in long-term care, concludes a study published in the July 2013 issue of Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

The review, which examined 20 years worth of care team studies across multiple countries, found wide variances in what defined a “team” and how it interacted with residents, noted Arif Nazir, MD, a scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research center, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and co-author of the report.  

"We found that having the doctor who actually cares for the nursing home patient involved on the care team has a positive impact on patient outcome, as did including a pharmacist on the team," Nazir says in a university release. "Interdisciplinary teams that took this approach had a higher success rates in decreasing falls, improving behavioral issues and prescribing less antipsychotic medications."

As the importance of inter-disciplinary care teams grows within person-centered care models, skilled care communities should be prepared to discuss their approach to to care teams to prospective residents and their families, Nazir notes.

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