Quality Improvement Initiatives
Because of the increased risk of fracture in older age, the outpatient geriatrics practice has made osteoporosis screening a high priority for quality improvement. This initiative has focused on the effects of patients who receive their calcium through their diet, those receiving calcium supplement, those adding Vitamin D, and those using medications for osteoporosis. Our goal is to increase our screening and assure that appropriate patients are receiving the correct follow up and treatment, including bone density screening. The percentage of our patients that are managed for their bone health in our practice has increased through this attention to this important factor in aging.
Benzodiazepines (medications sometimes used for anxiety that have a sedating effect) have side effects that are potentially harmful for elderly patients. These can increase the risk of falls and cognitive changes. As new patients enter the practice, our geriatricians recommend discontinuation or reduction in the dosages of these medications. A quality improvement initiative is underway to assure that this important factor is addressed with our patients as a part of maintaining well being and clarity of thought as they age.