Texas Health Care Briefing No. 12
Texas Nursing Homes Continue to See Improvements in Reducing Use of Antipsychotics
While more focus and attention continue to be placed on reducing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes nationwide, Texas continues to make significant improvements. According to recent data reported by the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, Texas improved its ranking as the worst state in terms of antipsychotic use, improving to 10th in 2018, up from 51st in 2013. Since the beginning of this national initiative, Texas has seen a 56% decrease in the prevalence of antipsychotic use for long stay residents.
The reduction in the use of these drugs is attributable to statewide and local training efforts, expansion of care programs, and public education on the harms of prescribing antipsychotics to aging Texans. Further, nursing homes in the state have worked with their physician communities to gradually reduce dosage, individualize care plans for those with dementia-like symptoms, and provide interventions to manage symptoms for which the use of antipsychotics was often prescribed.
To countless frontline caregivers, doctors and family members who struggle with the daily challenges of caring for someone with dementia, this reduction is a sign of success in providing the quality care these individuals deserve.
While significant progress has been made, there remains more work to be done. Provider efforts will continue in the development of resources and programs to raise awareness of these issues and help improve quality of care.