Telemedicine consultations may help reduce use of antipsychotic meds in dementia patients

Video consultations between nursing home staffers and specialists may be one way to reduce prescriptions of antipsychotic medication for dementia patients, according to a study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Hebrew SeniorLife.

The researchers used video conferencing at 11 Massachusetts nursing homes, offering staffers sessions with physician specialists, according to a report from the Boston Globe. In those facilities, use of antipsychotics dropped by 17 percent.

"Even very modest efforts at education and problem-solving can go a long way to improving care for people with dementia and reducing bad habits in the care of these patients," Jonathan Evans, M.D., past president of the American Medical Directors Association, said in the article. "There is no question there is a gigantic lack of training on the part of doctors, nurses, you name it, on understanding dementia." Article