A Quality Improvement Study on Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation in Long-term Care

Jawad Munir, Rebecca J. Wright, David B. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the impact of a quality improvement (QI) study on improving calcium and vitamin D supplementation in a long-term care setting. Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: An academic long-term care facility that specializes in dementia care in St Louis, MO. Participants: Participants consisted of 83 long-term care residents. Intervention: The quality improvement team created an educational letter that was signed by the medical director and sent to the facilities' primary care physicians. This letter provided clinicians with the rationale and method to achieve adequate calcium supplementation, assess vitamin D status, and provide adequate vitamin D supplementation in our long-term care setting. Following the letter, the facility pharmacist reviewed the orders during monthly medication reviews and faxed requests to the primary care physicians for appropriate supplements or laboratory tests when necessary. Measurements: We reviewed the charts for the presence of calcium supplementation orders, vitamin D levels, and vitamin D supplementation before and after our QI intervention. Results: Of the 83 resident charts that were reviewed, only 37 (44.6%) had calcium supplementation, 19 (22.8%) had assessment of their vitamin D status, and 29 (34.9%) had ongoing vitamin D supplementation prior to implementation of the study. After the QI intervention, calcium supplementation was present in 66 residents (79.5%), vitamin D status had been assessed in 61 residents (73.4%), and vitamin D supplementation had been initiated in 65 residents (78.3%). These changes were statistically significant (P < .05). Conclusion: A quality improvement project that used an educational letter from the medical director combined with a medication and laboratory review by the pharmacist was able to increase the number of residents in our long-term care setting with calcium supplementation, increase the number of residents who had vitamin D status assessed, identify many residents with low vitamin D levels, and increase supplementation of vitamin D when indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Quality improvement
  • calcium
  • nursing home
  • vitamin D


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