Using patient aligned care team marketing to identify cognitive impairment in primary care.

Introduction: Cognitive impairment is a growing concern that is costly for individuals and health care systems and is often undiagnosed. Early recognition of cognitive impairment allows patients and families the opportunity to discuss long-term care planning and to arrange financial and legal affairs. Identification of cognitive impairment allows for better evaluation and accommodation of functional deficits. Most individuals with cognitive impairment receive care exclusively through primary care. Primary care providers are typically overburdened, and subsequently cognitive impairment may be unrecognized and untreated. Efficient methods of detecting cognitive impairment are needed in primary care. Method: The present investigation examined the effect of a simple marketing strategy on the frequency of referral for cognitive screening in primary care. The frequency of referral for cognitive screening was measured for the 12 months prior to and following the marketing effort. Data for the period 2 years after the marketing effort were examined to determine if increases in referral for cognitive screening were maintained. Results: Results demonstrate that this modest marketing effort significantly increased the number of individuals who were referred for cognitive impairment screening, and this increase was maintained over time. Also, the majority of those who were evaluated screened positive for cognitive impairment. Discussion: This brief marketing effort increased the frequency of referral for cognitive screening and identified individuals with cognitive impairment in primary care. Implications for future research and for management of cognitive impairment in primary care are detailed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)