Pharmacists could help more as geriatric patients leave emergency

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Pharmacist involvement on care teams for geriatric patients transitioning out of emergency departments may be undervalued, says the Pharmacy Times.

Reporting on a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the Times says pharmacists could be better utilised under these circumstances.

The study, which examined whether an intervention of comprehensive geriatric assessment followed by a transitional care bridge program improved activities of daily living compared with CGA alone, did not include a pharmacist.

However lead author Bianca Burrman told the Pharmacy Times that she felt a pharmacist could “play an important role in the medication review at admission and also provide advice with regard to medication [and] which should be continued or stopped”.

“We observed that although medication reconciliation is standard practice, many older patients had bags with medications at home,” she said.

Burmann said it was often unclear which care setting supplied prescriptions and whether patients should still have been taking them.

She told the Times that her advice to pharmacists in optimising care for geriatric patients was to provide written information, verbally explained, as some of these patients may have cognitive impairment making it difficult to remember instructions given only verbally.

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