Optimising meds use in older patients

elderly couple silhouette made from pills

A new study is recruiting accredited pharmacists to examine how a support system can help in the management of older patients

“People with dementia in the community setting are prescribed more medications compared to people without dementia and often these are inappropriately prescribed,” says Mouna Sawan, a consultant pharmacist and postdoctoral research associate at the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, the University of Sydney.

“Inappropriate medications are commonly prescribed in older adults and are associated with preventable adverse effects.

“To address this problem, we have developed the Goal-directed Medication review Electronic Decision Support System (G-MEDSS), an online clinical decision support system that incorporates validated tools and guides that can be used by accredited pharmacists for older people, including specific tools for people with dementia,” Dr Sawan says.

“This trial will test whether the addition of G-MEDSS into the Home Medicines Review service may be beneficial to reduce inappropriate prescribing in older adults.”

The research team – Professor Sarah Hilmer, Dr Lisa Kouladjian O’Donnell and Dr Mouna Sawan – is now looking for Australian registered accredited pharmacists to join the GMEDSS/HMR Trial.

The eligibility criteria for Accredited Pharmacists are:

  • Usually complete between 2 to 20 HMRs per month; and
  • Have completed at least 24 HMRs in the last 12 months.

Prof Hilmer is a clinical pharmacologist and geriatrician, whose clinical research and policy work all aim to improve quality use of medicines for older people.

Dr Kouladjian O’Donnell and Dr Sawan are both accredited pharmacists, who combine their clinical work with research and are passionate about geriatric pharmacology and the role of pharmacists.

“Our translational research, which is conducted through the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, aims to optimise the use of medicines in older adults to improve functional outcomes, particularly for those with dementia, and improve the delivery of health care services,” says Dr Sawan.

Pharmacists who are interested in participating can contact Dr Sawan on 02 9926 4927 or via email at ncs.researchdbi@sydney.edu.au.

They can do so until 15 November 2018, and the duration of the study for participants is six months.

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