Dementia Training for Primary Care Health Providers

Dementia Training for Primary Care Health Providers

Background

In Israel's healthcare system, the care for older adults experiencing cognitive decline, is poorly coordinated. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are the most accessible form of primary care in the country, but primary care providers are not adequately trained in dementia prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Primary care providers will refer their patients to specialists if they suspect some form of cognitive decline.  However, despite their lack of training, these providers are responsible for the long-term care follow up for dementia patients and their families.

Need

The current healthcare system lacks expert consultants and comprehensive diagnostic services for dementia. There is a need for a primary care workforce educated in dementia prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment; uniform training and continued education on dementia for medical professionals; a multi-professional treatment program; an increase in early diagnoses; and improved integration between services for older adults with dementia.

Program

This program improves care for older adults with dementia by training primary care providers working with the patient's HMO. The program trains health service teams composed of doctors, nurses, and social workers on how to identify and detect early stage dementia and how to treat dementia in older adults. It encourages the HMO to develop innovative strategiesthat integrate healthcare, social services, and community organizations to care and support older adults living with dementia and their families. This project specifically targets the geographic periphery, where older adults have less access to specialized services for dementia care compared to those available in major cities. The program focuses on raising awareness around dementia.

Outcomes

  • Preventing the advancement of dementia
  • Optimal cognitive functional ability
  • Integration of dementia service providers
  • 50% improvement in the diagnosis rate of dementia
  • Increased awareness of dementia and the need for early diagnosis among primary care providers
  • Improve accessibility of dementia services
  • Utilize services in accordance with needs

Contract dates

2015 - 2018

Partners:

Ministry of Health, Hospitals, HMOs