A study published in the BMJ reveals that GPs ‘cleaning up their records’ could reveal the true number of patients on their records who have dementia. The research which involved 23 practices across 19 boroughs in London claimed that a review of coding in practice records could increase the current national diagnosis rate of dementia to 55 per cent.
Researchers found the miscoding of dementia was mostly due to complicated coding systems or unclear information from hospitals.
The study comes in light of the Directed Enhanced Service (DES) on dementia, encouraging doctors to be aware of memory problems in their patients and proactively diagnose the condition.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘If GP records were made accurate across the country, more than 100,000 people with dementia would get a diagnosis, giving them access to support services and treatment they deserve and need. This simple and cost-effective method could help recognise those in the community who are living with dementia but have been locked in limbo due to incorrect codes in a computer.’
Dr Alison Cook
Director of External Affairs