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WAI-Affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinic Network

Memory Clinic Development

A major program of the WAI is the development of dementia diagnostic services throughout Wisconsin that will promote high-quality early diagnosis and treatment as well as support for caregivers. The need for more accessible standard-of-care diagnostic services is often recognized by local community organizations, clinicians, and/or healthcare systems.  As a part of our mission, WAI outreach staff will meet with interested parties to discuss their communities’ needs, as well as assist with the development of a memory clinic if it is indicated.  Outreach staff will be available to consult and assist throughout all development phases; with the goals of a successful clinic launch, and a solid foundation for sustainability.

 

WAI’s Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Evaluation Model

WAI’s comprehensive interdisciplinary evaluation model looks at the entire process for an individual and their support system going through an evaluation.  This includes high-quality medical evaluation using best practices for diagnosis and management of various courses of cognitive decline.  This includes the essential steps of connecting patients and their families to educational and support services within their community. The model utilizes interdisciplinary approach which results in a more insightful, comprehensive evaluation.

 

 

Guidelines for Clinics in the WAI-Affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinic Network

 

The guidelines for WAI affiliated dementia diagnostic clinics are as follows:

  1. The clinic must provide interdisciplinary care, defined as a group of health care professionals from diverse fields who work in a coordinated fashion toward meeting the needs of the patient and their support system.  At a minimum, the team should include the services of a physician and, preferably a neuropsychologist and a social worker; or other team members who are trained to complete the functions of the evaluation.
  2. The clinic must be affiliated with a medical organization that provides space, scheduling assistance, modern laboratory and radiology services, an electronic health record, and an on-call service.
  3. All clinics should have a relationship with their local Alzheimer’s support agency and other relevant community and government entities (i.e. county aging, disability, and dementia care resource teams, etc.) that will provide longitudinal education and support to persons affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as well as their support team.
  4. Diagnoses should follow the following guidelines:
    • Dementia (All-cause): National Institute on Aging – Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) All-cause Dementia Criteria (McKhann, 2011)
      • Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Dementia:  NIA-AA AD Dementia Criteria (McKhann, 2011)
      • Vascular Dementia (VaD): NINDS-AIREN Criteria (Roman, 1993)
      • Dementia with Lewy Bodies: DLB Consortium (McKeith, 2005)
      • Parkinson Disease Dementia
      • Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD): (Rascovsky, 2011)
      • Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA): (Mesulam, 2001)
    • Mild Cognitive Impairment: NIA-AA Mild Cognitive Impairment Criteria (Albert, 2011)
      • MCI due to AD: NIA-AA Mild Cognitive Impairment Criteria (Albert, 2011)
      • MCI due to Vascular Injury (Vascular Cognitive Impairment [VCI])
  5. The evaluation should include minimally the following:
    • A medical evaluation provided by a qualified physician or advance practice provider.
    • A cognitive evaluation by a neuropsychologist or a psychologist, or a qualified and appropriately trained team member that has ongoing support of a licensed psychologist. 
    • A psychosocial evaluation completed by a social worker or by a team member that is qualified and appropriately trained to complete the evaluation.
  6. The clinic must be willing to participate in systematic and high-quality data collection.
  7. The clinic must be willing to provide educational and community services resource information to patients and caregivers.
  8. Physicians and other clinic staff must be willing to attend annual CME and Clinic Network meetings sponsored by the WAI.

WAI Clinic Network Support

In addition to clinic start-up assistance, the WAI team provides:

  • Guidance on initiation and maintenance of clinic operations
  • Assistance regarding standard dementia care practices, clinical services, clinic flow, team composition, budgets, and general operations
  • Education and training on dementia diagnosis, management, and safety
  • Clinical consultation assistance
  • Facilitation of networking and connectivity among network members
  • Resource and referral assistance
  • Insights to research advances and best practices
  • Guidance on quality models of care
  • Individual clinic data collection summary

Key Clinic Network Events

In addition to training at the time a clinic starts, network members have access to ongoing education and skill building events.  They include:

  • Bi-annual Network Meetings (Spring and Fall)
  • Building Applied Skills in Dementia Care (Spring and Fall)
  • WAI’s Annual CME Alzheimer’s Disease Update Conference (November)
  • Most Difficult Case Conferences (4x/annually)
  • Clinic visits by WAI outreach staff
  • Core skills training

Benefits of WAI Affiliation

  • Educational resources and opportunities, including annual conference, most difficult case conferences, and bi-annual network meetings
  • Consultation, collaboration and networking opportunities with peers and other practitioners working in the world of dementia
  • Opportunities to engage in research and to learn about cutting-edge advances in dementia care
  • Increased clinic credibility to provide quality dementia care services
  • Clinic listing on WAI’s website provides additional marketing exposure
  • Participation in data gathering for a larger common voice to express unmet needs of patients and their families
  • Ability to shape the standardization of care and best practices
  • Input into the dementia specific activities pursued by the WAI
  • There are no fees or dues to be an affiliate

For More Information

For more information about dementia diagnostic clinic development or the WAI-Affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinic Network, contact Jody Krainer at 608-263-6449 or jkrainer@wisc.edu.


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