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ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: COGNITIVE MEMORY SCREENING AND REFERRAL PROGRAM
Services were offered to patients identified within the pharmacy practice and through awareness activities such as posters and informational brochures. Pharmacists delivered screening services to patients by appointment, through stand-alone screening days and through outreach to local assisted living facilities and senior centers.
Patients were offered screening services by the pharmacist if they self-identified as having at least one warning sign for AD as outlined by the Alzheimer’s Association or if the pharmacist assessed that the patient could benefit from the service based on factors such as age, co-morbid health conditions and/or observation of behaviors.
The memory screening tools were selected based on the ability to provide meaningful results to patients and physicians, the ease of implementation in a community pharmacy setting, and the small time commitment for both the pharmacist and the patient.
Following the administration of cognitive memory screening assessments, pharmacists provided counseling and disease education to patients and caregivers as required. Counseling was customized based on patient characteristics, medical history, medication therapy and responses to the HRA questions.
Assessment scoring guidelines were used by pharmacists to refer patients for physician follow-up. The scores for each patient assessment and the resulting action taken by the pharmacist were documented. If assessment scores demonstrated a cognitive deficiency in any of the three tests, patients could be referred to the physician.