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.
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.
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.