We found Dr. Robert Figlerski’s list of challenges and strategies in treating psychiatric patients in a long-term care setting, originally published in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, enlightening.
- Demographic shifts—when staff training doesn’t keep up with patient needs.
- Confusion over how to properly use psychotropic medications (such as antipsychotics.)
- Confusion and misinformation about non-drug intervention and behavioral healthcare.
- Poorly-integrated behavioral healthcare services (such as psychology and psychiatry.)
- Lack of programs to reduce the decline of social and self-care skills for residents.
- Frequent psychiatric hospitalizations.
- Lack of communication between hospitals and SNFs.
- Don’t let the number of patients grow faster than the facility staff’s ability to care for them properly.
- Build relationships with behavioral healthcare providers.
- Develop ongoing training on working with psychiatric patients for staff.
- Understand the CMS guidelines on psychotropic medication use and reduction.
- Develop focused therapeutic recreation activities for residents with chronic mental illness.
- Build strong relationships with hospitals to reduce misunderstanding and unnecessary discharges and subsequent readmissions.
- Learn to recognize the signs of depression early.
- Expand and further integrate telemedicine into the nursing home setting to increase access to care.
- Understand that all residents may experience psychological and adjustment challenges when entering a SNF, and focus on providing quality mental healthcare.
To read Dr. Figlerski’s full article, visit https://www.mcknights.com/guest-columns/seven-strategies-for-treating-psychiatric-patients-in-snfs/article/748486/.