Case Study: Critical Cognitive Care for a Rural Area

The BrainCheck platform offers essential tools for providing cognitive care to rural areas, regions often underserved in the United States.  

Statistically, rural populations have much higher rates of dementia and cognitive impairment than urban areas. Adults over age 55 in rural areas have 80% higher relative risk for dementia and 40% higher relative risk for cognitive impairment. 

In rural South Carolina, nurse practitioner Shere Catoe uses Braincheck to assess cognitive function and increase quality of life for her geriatric patients. 

“I provide psychiatric and medical services to my geriatric patients,” Catoe says, “and my specialty is dementia.”

Integrated Tools, Simple Administration, Tracking Over Time

“I see patients where they live and in the hospital,” she says, “I have nursing homes, assisted living [facilities], home patients, and hospital rounds.”

She was assessing her patients using a combination of the MoCA and SLUMS assessments, depending what she felt the patient was capable of. In BrainCheck, Catoe found the tools and screeners she needed to provide comprehensive cognitive care all within a single platform

Additionally, the platform allows for an assistant to help her with test administration, which can make her visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities more efficient.

BrainCheck also allows her to see how different treatments and behavioral issues affect her patients’ cognitive function.

“I like to establish a baseline cognitive assessment so I can track it over time. There are a lot of medications that can cause cognitive impairment or contribute to it. And depression, anxiety, and other medical issues can as well. With a baseline, we can track it and be proactive.”

Carolina Behavioral Healthcare

Cognitive Care for Rural Patients, Support for Caregivers

Tracking cognitive function and the using behavioral screeners over time also provides value when it comes to cognitive care planning

“[With BrainCheck], not only can I track the overall scores, but I can track the individual components of those scores,” she says. That offers the ability to track specific cognitive and behavioral concerns, and see if care plans have the desired results.

The cognitive care planning tools also offer a valuable resource for the patients’ family and caregivers:

“Sometimes the patients are incapable of understanding the cognitive care plans, but the family members do and they appreciate it. Staff members in the facilities also appreciate the care plans. It meets some of their requirements of what should be in the patient’s chart, but it also is a stepping stone for educating staff, who are generally not licensed personnel.”

BrainCheck Helps Clinicians Provide Care — Anywhere

Rural areas often don’t have the same access to medical services that urban areas have. But BrainCheck helps clinicians like Nurse Catoe provide critical cognitive care.

Now, with concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of the coronavirus, providing continued access to care is more important than ever. 

Fortunately, BrainCheck can provide at-home assessments. Using a video chat platform to administer the tests, clinicians can continue to assess cognitive function for their patients.

Rural or urban, in a clinic or at-home, comprehensive cognitive care should be accessible to everyone. And BrainCheck offers the tools clinicians need to provide it.

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