In 2012, CMS rolled out the “Partnership to improve Dementia Care” initiative. This led to a nationwide effort to reduce the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medications among our elderly population and to develop an immediate plan of reducing the medication’s use, as well as to better understand the root cause of dementia related behaviors and address the behaviors by educating staff on non-pharmacological techniques.
This initiative led to the collaborative efforts between the Arkansas Health Care Foundation, AFMC’s Arkansas Innovative Performance Program, and the Arkansas Department of Human Services, now known as the Arkansas Quality Partners. Established in 2014, the primary focus of the Quality Partners was to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing home residents through training of nursing home staff and other medical professionals on the use of alternative methods. The goal of the Quality Partners is not just merely a reduction of medication, but to aid staff as they continue to develop skills and understanding that will improve the quality of life for residents living with dementia.