April 2016 - December 2017
Dementia currently affects over 200,000 Michigan residents with over 500,000 Michigan family caregivers providing unpaid care. While dementia is one of Michigan's most expensive healthcare conditions, current systems of care are like a "crazy quilt"- disorganized and poorly connected. Front-line providers typically have no training in managing the illness. When patients get sick and require hospitalizations, they face a nightmare of emergency rooms and hospitals ill-equipped for their needs. Many hospitalizations are "potentially preventable"; better outpatient care could avert these costly and difficult experiences. Improving and coordinating dementia care could reduce costs, and make UM a model program in the state and nationally. Coalescing teams of dementia care researchers from several schools within UM, we will use a lean thinking management process to discover root causes of the status quo, and devise and suggest potential viable and scalable solutions.