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Study Reveals Staff Physicians Prescribe Fewer Medications for Long-term Care Facility Residents
Date:4/19/2019

Residents in long-term-care nursing facilities were prescribed fewer medications when treated by staff physicians than those treated by outside physicians. This is according to a study of U.S. men and women led by the staff at the Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) under the auspices of the Brandman Research Institute (BRI). The quality assurance study examined the high number of prescriptions ordered for long-term nursing facility residents throughout their first year after admission.

“Our results provide valuable insight into prescriptions in long-term-care nursing facility residents. It outlines the difference in care and treatment given by outside versus staff physicians, as well as many other insights. This study is the first step by BRI in providing valuable resources that can make a difference in seniors’ lives,” said Dr. Noah Marco, executive director of BRI and chief medical officer for LAJH.

BRI is a center for research focused on best practices for geriatric health issues. The new study was performed by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who share a goal: to develop new standards and best models of care for older adults. The funding for this study was provided by the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation.

The most frequent use of medications in the geriatric population occurs in skilled nursing facilities. The longer a resident lives in a long-term care nursing home, the more likely it is the number of scheduled prescriptions increases. Excessive use of medication is of particular concern in the geriatric community. The study was performed to address the issue of the number of prescription medications and to provide insight into effective models for post-acute care.

The investigators followed 101 long-term-stay residents at the Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Medical Center, a licensed hospital facility of Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) over a 12-month period. Preadmission prescriptions were obtained for 91 residents, as well as prescriptions at one week, one month, three months, six months, and one year after admission. The number of prescriptions by staff physicians and outside physicians was compared.

The study revealed a statistically significant increase in the number of prescriptions made in a long-term care setting over a 12-month study. It found significant increases in the number of prescriptions by outside physicians when compared with prescriptions ordered by staff physicians. By one year after admission, outside physicians prescribed a mean of 21 prescriptions per resident compared with a mean of 15 prescriptions per resident by staff physicians. Patients of staff physicians received fewer prescriptions and were hospitalized less frequently than patients of physicians who practiced outside LAJH.

The study also found a statistically significant increase in the percent of residents hospitalized by outside community physicians (60%) when compared with the number hospitalized by staff physicians (28%). The study found an extraordinarily high level of prescriptions in very old (older than 70 years of age) long-term-stay skilled nursing residents. The most common types of prescriptions added were those for supplements and gastrointestinal disorders, followed by prescriptions for psychoactive drugs and antihypertensive medications.

An abstract of the study can be found at https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/ascp/tscp/2019/00000034/00000003/art00006

With its unique structure, backing, and focus, BRI provides medical and professional staff a unique opportunity to learn directly from seniors what works best for them. Specialized research identifies and promotes life-enhancing healthy-aging practices. Activities include research projects and identified treatments which improve and enhance medical, social, psychiatric, and psychological services for seniors. This pioneering approach creates “best-care” models of eldercare to be shared in the US and world. BRI is distinctively positioned to provide insight into developing new protocols and standards in caring for older adults. BRI was founded with support from the Joyce and Saul Brandman Foundation.

About the Los Angeles Jewish Home
Founded in 1912, the non-profit Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) is among the largest providers of senior healthcare services in Los Angeles. Through its innovative Connections to Care® program, each year thousands of seniors benefit from the Home’s community-based and in-residence programs. Community-based programs include: A Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE); hospice; home health; palliative medicine; community clinics; short-term rehabilitation; and acute psychiatric care. Three Home campuses serve seniors with options for independent living, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. The Home has two Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), the Gonda Healthy Aging Westside Campus, in Playa Vista, CA and Fountainview at Eisenberg Village in Reseda, CA. Further information regarding the Jewish Home can be found online at http://www.lajh.org or by calling 855.227.3745.

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/study_reveals_staff_physicians_prescribe_fewer_medications_for_long_term_care_facility_residents/prweb16255741.htm.


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