New resource to track antipsychotic use

A new resource has been launched to assist aged care providers to monitor the use of antipsychotic medications.

Dementia Training Australia has launched a new tool to help residential aged care providers monitor and reduce the use of antipsychotic medications in facilities.

The Antipsychotic Tracking Tool generates audit reports and graphs to show how prevalent antipsychotic medication use in a facility.

The tool, which can be used by any aged care health professional with experience in antipsychotic medications, allows providers to monitor changes in their use of antipsychotic medication for residents over time.

It uses state-based benchmark percentages from the national Reducing Use of Sedatives program (RedUSe), which was developed by the University of Tasmania to reduce the use of sedatives in residential aged care  (read more here).

The release of the tool follows the Department of Health’s update to the provider resource for the new single Aged Care Quality Standards, which added a warning against the inappropriate use of sedatives and chemical restraint (read more here).

Dementia Training Australia director Dr Andrew Stafford said the new standards were an opportunity to improve practices on medication use in aged care.

“There is now more than 30 years’ worth of data suggesting that antipsychotic medications don’t work very well for most people with responsive behaviours and may cause serious adverse effects,” Dr Stafford said.

“Despite this, their widespread use continues in some – not all – residential care facilities due to a variety of barriers including limited staff knowledge, processes and commitment to change,” he said.

Providers will be assessed against the new Aged Care Quality Standards from 1 July 2019.

Find out more about the Antipsychotic Tracking Tool here.

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