Clinical Roundtable

The Clinical Roundtable brought together neurologists, psychiatrists, gerontologists, internal medicine specialists, professional caregivers and dementia-related organizations to develop standards for the screening, evaluation and disease management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.  Beginning in October 2014, these professionals met to acknowledge and support the role of the family practice/internal medicine physician primarily responsible for the care of patients experiencing dementia.  The result has been the establishment of suggested standards of best practices to be disseminated and adopted throughout San Diego County by health systems as well as private practice physicians.

    

Focus of the Clinical Roundtable

  • Development of standards for screening, evaluation and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia
  • Development of guidelines for the management of the behavioral and psychological symptoms and issues exhibited by those afflicted
  • Education of primary care practitioners and their staff on standards and guidelines leading to countywide best practices
  • Identification of resources for physicians and their staff, as well as family caregivers
  • Dissemination of tools for effective communications with patients and their caregivers

These tools have been created to assist primary care physician’s deal with the rising number of individuals experiencing memory loss and dementia, and the associated monumental number of family members and caregivers affected by this profound disease.

 

 

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Role of the Primary Care Provider

With the largest proportion of physicians practicing internal and family medicine, compared to a very small number of neurologists, geriatricians and psychiatrists, clearly the majority of screening, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia will be effectively managed by primary care providers.  The Clinical Roundtable encourages the use of these tools to facilitate more unilateral process for clinicians, similar to how other clinical standards of practice have been helpful to improve patient care and outcomes.

Going Forward

Advances in evaluation and treatment continue.  The guidelines created are intended to be a living document that will change as advances are made in the field.  It is planned that the Clinical Roundtable will convene for periodic review of research literature and assessment of practice in the community to update these guidelines.  Further, practitioners will be asked for their feedback on the algorithms, specific screening and evaluation instruments, and their indication of increased capacity due to the guidelines. For more information about these efforts please visit Champions for Health – Alzheimer’s.