Widespread vitamin D supplementation in aged care facilities has saved the New Zealand government over a half-million dollars the past two years, according to a new press release.
In 2010 the MidCentral District Health Board (DHB) began encouraging health professionals to prescribe vitamin D to residents in aged care facilities. Between March 2010 and June 2012, the percentage of aged care residents supplementing with vitamin D jumped from 15 to 74 percent.
The main goal was to reduce falls-related fractures, and so far, they’ve had great success.
“Comparisons from before and after the start of the project show a 32 per cent reduction in aged residential care residents going to the emergency department with falls-related fractures,” says Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew. “And a 41 per cent reduction in their hospital admissions due to these fractures.”
Their results corroborate with past research, which shows that vitamin D supplementation can reduce falls and falls-related fractures
Due to the reduced admissions to the hospital, the vitamin D project has saved MidCentral DHB more than $540,000 (about $430,000 USD). There are also likely further savings due to reduced need for clinical support, hospital pharmacy services and rehabilitation.
Says Mrs. Goodhew, “The benefits of preventing falls in older people cannot be overstated. Preventing falls enables older people to maintain their independence and confidence.”
Live News. Vitamin D project helps prevent falls and saves health costs. http://livenews.co.nz/2013/08/08/vitamin-d-project-helps-prevent-falls-and-saves-health-costs/