A systematic review of studies on long-term stay patients' care has found that having an interdisciplinary team involving a nursing home patient's own physician along with a pharmacist can substantially better the odds of improving the quality of nursing home care.
"CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] mandates an interdisciplinary approach to nursing home care, so all U.S. nursing homes have teams, but the composition and activity of these teams vary," said Arif Nazir, M.D., Indiana University Center for Aging Research center scientist and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine. Dr. Nazir is the first author of the review, which looked at studies conducted over two decades on four continents.
"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," he said. "Interdisciplinary teams that took this approach had a higher success rates in decreasing falls, improving behavioral issues and prescribing less antipsychotic medications."