Caring for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias

In June 2017, the state’s Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee issued its final report with a goal of outlining strategies to provide optimal care to persons with dementia in acute care settings.

Following the issuance of the state report, MHA convened its own workgroup consisting of clinical and operational experts from its membership, as well as representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association. The MHA workgroup developed guidance that would assist hospitals with implementing care and management practices for patients with Alzheimer’s and related dementias based on the report from the statewide advisory committee.

During this time, Massachusetts enacted a new law – Chapter 220 of the Acts of 2018, effective November 7, 2018 – that would require all hospitals licensed by DPH to implement by October 1, 2021, an operational plan for the recognition and management of patients with dementia or delirium in acute care settings. The state is now mandating that physician, physician assistant, registered nurse, and practical nurse license renewal include a one-time completion of a course of training and education on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cognitive impairments.

The goal of this document – Guidance for Developing an Operational Plan to Address Diagnosis and Care for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Hospital Settings – is to provide guidance for hospitals on the clinical and operational practices that should be incorporated into a hospital’s operational plan to meet the new law, which is based on the statewide advisory committee report.