Real-world Applications of Cognitive Assessment
SCREEN’S COMPREHENSIVE TESTING SERVICE allows physicians to establish baseline and longitudinal measures of cognitive abilities that are relevant to a number of medical conditions and their treatments, such as early onset Alzheimer’s disease, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, concussions incurred in sports, cancer treatments (e.g. “chemobrain”), Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and Parkinson’s. The measurement of a cognitive baseline before surgery, contact sports, or age-related conditions, is also highly recommended.
There may also be benefits to testing cognitive function in a number of non-medical contexts. One example cited is in the marine towing industry, where indices of key cognitive domains might supplement well-established tests of situational awareness.
Below we discuss some medical applications and the care environments in which affordable and efficient cognitive assessment tools would be advantageous.
Family and Geriatric Practices
Internists and Family Practices greatly benefit from Screen’s Testing Service and from the speed with which reports are returned to them. If the Report indicates that the patient’s test data look normal for their age and education, doctors can give their patient the good news and reassure them that their memory health looks good. On the other hand, if Screen’s Report had some cause for concern, the internist or family doctor might arrange a second testing in two or three months. Then the longitudinal report may be reviewed with the patient and the family, and, if indicated, thereby provide the most family-supportive context in which they refer the patient to a neurologist for follow-up testing. Because Screen’s tests have been designed with the elderly in mind they are particularly well-suited for Geriatric Practices and Professional Geriatric Care Managers.
Neurologists and Neuropsychologists
By having a Screen testing unit in their offices, neurologists often use Screen’s Testing Service as a starting point in gathering baseline data. Neuropsychologists who are backed up with waiting lists for their full neuropsychological evaluations can re-test as soon as they get a referral, to create a rational waiting list. In both cases, the longitudinal data help them determine if more extensive cognitive tests are needed. There is no point in getting an immediate, expensive full neuropsychological evaluation if the second testing shows improvement. If Screen’s Physician Report indicated potential cognitive impairments, neurologists might follow-up, even before the full neuropsychological evaluation data are received, with brain scans (MRI) or brain waves (EEG) to arrive at a diagnosis. Neurologists also use Screen’s tests for post-diagnostic testing—to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and interventions for patients who have been diagnosed with MCI – e.g. to see if there are any improvements.
Screen’s tests are particularly helpful for busy HMO practices. When patients visit their HMO primary care physician with concerns about memory, rather than immediately ordering expensive tests (brain imaging, full battery of neuropsychological tests, etc.), or sending all patients with memory concerns to a specialist in their HMO, the primary-care doctor can first ask the patient to come into the office to take a test on Screen’s Testing Unit.
After receiving Screen’s Physician Report, the primary-care HMO physician could then send those patients whose test results showed a cause for concern to the neurologists in the Group, while assuring the patients whose test results appeared normal that everything looks fine. If the results show a possible problem, a second testing in 3 months will create an even more definitive longitudinal analysis. Using Screen’s tests this way ensures that the HMO’s resources are better matched with patients’ needs—providing exceptional patient services, while being fiscally vigilant.
Community Health Centers
Since Community Health Centers have limited financial resources and the range of medical needs served often exceed staff availability, outsourcing its memory testing to Screen Inc. represents an ideal partnership.
By subscribing to Screen’s Services and having a Testing Unit right on their premises that gives the tests in both English and Spanish, Community Health Clinics can better serve their patients without having to train their staff in extensive test administration.
Retirement Communities and Life Care Centers
Retirement communities and life care centers make daily facility and medical decisions based on their residents’ level of self-sufficiency. Screen’s Testing allows their residents to be periodically tested at their premises. Screen’s Test Reports help administrators and medical directors make the most optimal facility and medical care decisions for each resident’s safety and well-being.