Geriatric psychiatry might be an emerging field of study and evidence-based practice, yet it has already warranted its place in the environment of modern healthcare and nursing due to its focus on the needs of aging patients. The problem of mental health deterioration and the development of mental health disorders reducing the quality of patients’ lives tends to become particularly prominent as a patient ages (Jayakody et al., 2020). Studies show that dementia is closely related to age, mostly due to the fact that brain cells fail to transfer data properly, which occurs in aging people as a result of the impairment of connections between nerve cells in the brain (Rashid et al., 2020). Therefore, while dementia can also occur in younger people, it is particularly prevalent in the aging population (Jayakody et al., 2020). Likewise, other mental health issues typical for aging people, such as Alzheimer’s, require immediate development of an action plan and the application of EBP techniques for intervening successfully and reducing the pace of the disease progress. By introducing a geriatric psychiatric unit into the hospital, one will be able to use the support and assistance of a highly qualified staff trained specifically to manage the instances of mental health disruptions. Therefore, the creation of a geriatric psychiatric unit in the hospital is fully justified.
Performing market analysis will help to investigate the extent of the need for the introduction of a geriatrics psychiatry team into the setting of the target healthcare facility. Specifically, factors such as the population of the area in question and its prevalent needs, the general quality of services offered to geriatric patients, profit in similar service lines, and the associated expenses, will be examined. Given the increased rate of aging people in the area, as well as the low rates of satisfaction with healthcare services among them, the assessment results seem to guide toward the inclusion of a geriatric psychiatry unit into the target healthcare environment.
Population of the Service Area
The service area in question appears to be very diverse, being represented by people of different ethnicities, sociocultural background, class, and age. The percentage of women in the area is slightly higher than that one of men. As far as the ethnicity background of the community is concerned, African American citizens constitute 31.9%, White Americans are at 35.7%, Hispanic/Latino Americans represent 19.8%, Asian Americans make 10.4%, and the remaining 2% of the population are represented by Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other ethnic minority groups (“Race map for Brooklyn, NY and racial diversity data,” 2021). The presence of a range of minority groups indicates the need to reinforce the quality of patient-nurse communication, as well as promote more effective patient education, since the target demographic may require additional assistance in building the skills needed to locate the symptoms of an early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s. Moreover, the specified demographic needs to be provided with appropriate consultations and support. Namely, apart from aging patients facing the risks of developing dementia, their family members also require education and the support of nursing experts to ensure that the quality of life in their relatives with dementia remains high despite the presence of a mental health issue.
In turn, the economic background of the specified population shows that extensive support and counseling may be needed due to the lack of opportunities for seeking healthcare support independently. Although a range of households in the target area are lower-class, a significant range of residents, especially those reaching a mature age, belong to the middle-class social stratum. Therefore, it is expected that the proposed development on the provision of care for aging patients will be quite popular within the specified area. Consequently, introducing a new team that will provide high-quality services will be essential for the management of well-being in the target area and the prevention of the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s in aging people.
Satisfaction of Geriatric Psychiatric Patients
The present rate of satisfaction among geriatric patients residing in the target area, as well as the general situation with the prevention and management of dementia in the U.S., prove the significance of introducing a team of competent nurses specializing in the delivery of healthcare services to the target audience (Kilbourne et al., 2018). Indeed, according to the recent data supplied by the Crossing the Quality Chasm report, the improved quality of care for the needs of aging people and their mental health needs to include six fundamental characteristics, namely, “safe, effective, patient‐centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care” (Kilbourne et al., 2018, p. 30). In turn, the assessment of needs performed in the article has proven the failure to meet the benchmark set for the specified care quality criteria (Kilbourne et al., 2018). Therefore, the current framework requires substantial improvements and updates to produce the services that will allow aging patients to maintain their current quality of life.
Studies also indicate that the failure to encourage aging citizens to reach their full potential and lead a self-directed life is one of the main hindrances to the proper management of their needs, specifically, their need to manage dementia and the related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Poudel and Yu (2020) explain that the failure to reconcile concerning the definition of proper recovery, treatment, and prevention measures represents the main obstacle in the provision of high-quality care to aging individuals. Therefore, the introduction of a program that will target vulnerable groups, rely on a pre-established set of rigid guidelines for administering healthcare services, and geared toward consultation, communication, and support for aging people is strongly needed. In turn, the suggested approach contains the outlined components, which means that it is likely to address the existing gaps in providing care for aging people.
Profits in Other Similar Service Lines
Remarkably, the current market for healthcare services offered to geriatric patients with developing dementia is quite lucrative compared to similar service lanes. For instance, the geriatric dentistry, while also demanding that patients should undergo therapy actively and take prescribed medications, does not offer the same benefits due to the short-term nature of the treatment process. By comparison, geriatric rehabilitation and geriatric dentistry are less likely to be financially profitable since the specified areas pursue complete recovery, which occurs within a short period of time, after which a patient is unlikely to visit the doctor soon. In turn, areas such as geriatric rheumatology and geriatric psychiatrics, which seek to reduce the progression of a mental health issue, yet recognize the irreversibility of dementia and Alzheimer’s, are geared toward a long-term or, to be more specific, lifelong, treatment process. Therefore, from a financial perspective, geriatric psychiatry is likely to be more financially lucrative than other areas that involve short-term treatment and therapy.
As for the main service lanes that produce similar profits as geriatric psychiatrics, one must pay specifically close attention to geriatric rheumatology. Also being geared toward therapy due to the impossibility of offering complete recovery, the specified field also includes medications and counseling (Kodak & Bes, 2018). Therefore, given the rates of aging patients with developing rheumatism and the related issues with their musculoskeletal system, geriatric rheumatology can be considered an area with profits similar to those of geriatric psychiatry.
Nonetheless, the field of geriatric psychiatry clearly has greater potential due to the multiple underlying issues that it addresses while considering mental health issues in patients. Specifically, opportunities for introducing family-based therapy and involving family members by promoting their education, as well as the increase in patients’ health literacy, open a plethora of options for establishing a professional facility with respective services. Namely, geriatric psychiatry will provide the opportunity to determine whether patients experience regular changes associated with aging and do not develop mental health issues. In addition, geriatric psychiatrists will track down the connection between the physical signs of aging and changes in patients’ mental health, which will allow spotting the presence of a [possible psychiatric concern (Kishita et al., 2018). The connection between the physical signs of aging and the mental ones mentioned above is an especially crucial part of the geriatric psychiatric team, which must be placed among the key priorities in managing aging people’s health. By introducing an EBP-based approach toward the proposed process, the geriatric psychiatric team will locate essential comorbidities and forecast the threats to patients’ mental health based not only on the current state of their mental well-being but also on the combined assessment of their psychological and physical state. The proposed framework will be possible to implement with the introduction of collaboration between geriatric psychiatrists and physicians, as well as the rest of the healthcare staff in the facility. Thus, the efficacy of the provided healthcare assistance will rise expeditiously.
Requirements and Costs for Staffing
Although the suggested change in the target healthcare setting is expected to lead to a significant rise in the hospital’s general revenue, certain costs must be mentioned as the necessary step to establishing the geriatric psychiatric unit in the facility. Namely, restructuring a part of the hospital premises and providing room for new staff members, as well as the appropriate diagnostic equipment, will require substantial costs, which may stand at around $10,000. In addition, purchasing the needed equipment will demand spending at least $5,000 on several conference cameras and the related tools. The use of devices for videoconferencing is justified by the necessity to provide consultations to patients and their family members during the coronavirus pandemic. By incorporating a videoconferencing approach toward therapy, the geriatric psychiatric team will be able to coordinate the therapy process and assist patients in training their cognitive functions. In addition, diagnostic options such as MRI scans and CAT scans will have to be included into the list of equipment to be provided at the facility. In turn, the specified devices will cost the hospital at least $100,000 depending on product quality. To minimize costs, the hospital will have to consider buying used MRI and CAT scan equipment, the price for which starts at $30,000 (“MRI machine for sale,” 2021). Finally, staff members’ salaries will amount to a total of at least $200,000. Thus, the expected amount of costs to be taken is likely to be around $450,000-500,000.
Furthermore, medications for supporting aging patients with signs of dementia will be required for purchase. Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Razadyne), to name a few, will be crucial in assisting elderly patients to restore their memory ad critical thinking skills, as well as other functions that may have been partially impaired by dementia (Kaushik et al., 2018). Given the current price range for the described drugs, 10,000$ will have to be taken from the hospital budget to ensure that the geriatric psychiatric unit has enough medication for alleviating some of the severe conditions of dementia.
Finally, costs for information management must be included into the equation. Specifically, the new team will also be responsible for educating patients and providing the necessary guidelines for the target audience. Booklets and posters, as well as other visual communication resources, must be designed or purchased to ensure that patients receive accurate information and clear guidelines for preventing, identifying, and managing dementia and the related disorders in aging people. The specified part of the program implementation is expected to require at least $5,000 to prepare the necessary materials, print them out, design appropriate website pages, create a consulting team, and disperse the information about the provided services to the target audience and their families.
As the market analysis has indicated, introducing the geriatric psychiatric unit into the hospital context will help to support the target demographic by offering them the services that will assist them in the management of a crucial health issue. Since dementia makes the aging population particularly vulnerable, it will be instrumental to build a functional support system with experts in geriatric psychiatry at the helm of it. Thus, aging patients will have the opportunity to be diagnosed with mental health issues at a very early stage of their development, which will lead to better management thereof and the possibility of recovery.
Moreover, the market analysis has shown that aging patients with dementia are in need for emotional and psychological support. In turn, creation of a geriatric psychiatry unit will encourage better education of patients and family members about the dangers of dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as the means of reducing the risks of developing said diseases and the ways of detecting their signs and symptoms as early as possible. Finally, the geriatric psychiatry unit will allow developing a support system aimed at addressing emotional issues for aging people. Due to the need for helping to deal with their emotions, particularly, fears of different nature, including the fear of being abandoned, aging people will benefit significantly from the psychological and emotional help that the members of the geriatric psychiatry unit will extend to them.
Finally, one should mention the opportunities that the creation of the geriatric psychiatry team will open to the rest of hospital members, as well as for the organization itself, in terms of interdisciplinary collaboration. According to the market analysis, healthcare staff members seek to explore career opportunities and training options quite actively. By introducing a geriatric psychiatry team into the clinical setting of the facility, one will create the environment where members of different teams will share knowledge, data, and skills to ensure that patients are provided with the necessary support and services. Thus, the quality of care within the hospital will rise, in turn, leading to improved patient outcomes and a better management of aging patients’ needs. Overall, the introduction of the geriatric psychiatry team into the hospital environment will play a huge part in the improvement of aging patients’ quality of life.
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