Northern Sydney Local Health District
Background: Inappropriate polypharmacy is almost universal in older inpatients and is rarely addressed by routine care. Minimising inappropriate polypharmacy reduces adverse drug events including falls and cognitive impairment, and improves quality of life in older people.
Aim: Develop and test a multi-component intervention to enable medication review in hospital.
Methods: Work with multidisciplinary clinicians, consumers and health agencies to design and evaluate interventions to address known barriers.
Results: We developed and evaluated a HETI module, guidelines for clinicians and consumers on stopping inappropriate medicines in hospital, a Drug Burden Index (DBI) calculator in the electronic medical record to prioritise patients for medication review, and clinical indicators to monitor the process.
Conclusions: These sustainable interventions reduce unnecessary medication use, which will reduce medication related harm and costs. The results of this program of work are being successfully implemented into clinical practice.