Reducing antipsychotic drug use and eliminating alarms won Durgin Pines in Kittery a 2013 Celebrating Excellence in Innovation Award, sponsored by the Maine Health Care Association (MHCA). The Kittery Long-Term Care facility is also due to receive a 2013 Celebrating Excellence Quality Award.
Durgin Pines was the only community throughout the state to be awarded in both categories. The 2013 Celebrating Excellence Quality Award was given for a program that saw success in a reduction of overall use of antipsychotic drugs. Antipsychotic drug use fell, with less than 5% of residents prescribed these meds from approximately 25% at the start of the effort. All audible personal alarm use in the building was also stopped.
By having fewer antipsychotic drugs prescribed, there has been a marked improvement in the staff utilizing “out of the box thinking” to aid in behavior modification and redirection. There is less use of antipsychotic drugs as the first approach for addressing negative behaviors.
Nick Bridges, Administrator, says “due to the success of this effort many of our residents now have one less pill to swallow every day, and one less set of side effects to contend with. There is one less cost to the medical system, with no replacement pill. The replacement is a team approach to individualized care and attention to the environment.”
Additionally, by having a more pleasant homelike environment free of alarms ringing or buzzing, there is less anxiety about being able to move around, a more peaceful home and increased staff accountability. Durgin Pines has proudly noted a marked decreased in the number of resident falls since this change has gone into effect.
Larry Strickland, Director of Nursing, shared that it “took some time to allow the changes to work their way into the culture here. But now everyone has buy-in that we are able to give superior care in a more creative and pleasant community than we did before.”
“Certainly changes like these two are herculean tasks that take the diligence of the entire team to implement,” complimented Venise Minkowsky, CEO of Continuum Health Services, the management company of Durgin Pines.