Improving vitamin D supplementation in age-related residential care (ARC)

ACC has a long established programme of supporting prescribed vitamin D supplementation in age-related residential care (ARC), aiming for 75 percent of residents to be prescribed supplements. Here are three case studies of improvement projects where health professionals have worked across boundaries (DHB, residential care, primary care) to increase the uptake of vitamin D supplements. The names and contact details of key people are given in each case study, which means you can follow up to benefit from their learning and experiences for application in your own situation.

Hawke’s Bay: Case study: Interdisciplinary strategies deliver benefits for Hawke’s Bay
The DHB initiated this project after finding that prescribed vitamin D supplementation rates in ARC were below the ACC target. A small interdisciplinary team from the DHB and PHO worked collaboratively with ARC facilities, providing education, resources and processes (assessment tool, flow chart and feedback loop). Communication and commitment improved between ARC nursing staff and GPs, and prescribing rates increased. Read more here external link.

MidCentral: Vitamin D project helps prevents falls in older people and saves money
The DHB and ACC worked together to provide ARC facilities with quarterly updates on vitamin D dispensing data in the district. The team adapted ACC guidelines for the local context and provided support along with ongoing feedback to ARC facilities and GPs. Uptake of vitamin D by ARC residents increased from 15 percent to 74 percent in an 18 month period, and there were significant reductions in ED presentations and hospital admissions for fall-related fractures from ARC facilities as early as three months after the project started. Read more here external link.

Nelson Bays: Vitamin D project delivers benefits for Nelson Bays
The PHO and ACC worked together in a pharmacy-led project to push prescribed vitamin D supplementation up from where it had plateaued at a 50 per cent rate. Community pharmacy participation was sought, with the aim of supporting the relationship between pharmacies and GPs to encourage prescription of vitamin D supplements. The project provided a prescribing process, incentives and recognition, and in the Nelson region, achieved a 90% increase in prescribing. Read more here external link.

Last updated 21/08/2017