Organization: Henry Ford Health System
Principal Investigator: Rhonna Shatz, DO
Always Event: Always screen patients 70 years and older for dementia as part of their annual primary care health exams.
Overview: This initiative will use a new Web-based cognitive assessment tool developed by the National Institutes of Health and modified for use at HFHS. Physicians will also utilize an NIH developed web-based smart survey tool to assess mood, behavior, daily living activities and review caregiver distress. Should the patient exhibit any signs of a neurological impairment following the cognitive screen, the doctor would initiate a full dementia assessment guided by EMR templates that can be downloaded or utilized and saved on-line as an office note. This program will involve training and preparing Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) within the hospital to observe senior adult patients during regular office visits to determine whether an undiagnosed neurological condition, especially Alzheimer’s disease, is present. While general practice physicians do regularly see a high proportion of senior adults, most do not typically have current expertise or knowledge in neurological medicine as it applies to age-related conditions. HFHS will conduct training to provide as many physicians as possible with techniques to quickly assess their senior patients. On-going training would then be held for newly hired doctors or as a refresher course for others. Should the patient exhibit any signs of a neurological impairment following the cognitive screen, the doctor would initiate a full dementia assessment guided by EMR templates which can be downloaded or utilized and saved on-line as an office note.