Do your patients have medicine related problems?
“Keep a watch…on the faults of the patients, which often make them lie about the taking of things prescribed. For through not taking disagreeable drinks, purgative or other, they sometimes die.” Hippocrates Decorum
It seems that not much has changed for over 2,500 years!
The World Health organisation reports that almost half (50%) of patients with long term illnesses, do not take medications as prescribed. This means that the potential for medication related problems is a real life problem for many people – including your patients, both young and old.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (Medicine Safety: Take Care, 2019) reports that medicine related safety issues accounts for 250,000 hospital admissions each year. In addition, another 4000,000 Australians visit a hospital emergency department with health problems caused by medicines – half of which could have been prevented!
Generally, certain medicines may present a higher risk for medicine related problems and hospitalization for your patients – these include;
- Multiple psychotropic medicines resulting in 60% of admissions for confusion
- 40% of patients admitted for renal failure had no serum creatinine or urea test in previous 3 months – most were taking medicines acting on the Renin Angiotensin System.
- 22% of patients admitted for seizure whilst on anticonvulsants had no therapeutic monitoring in last 6 months.
- 23% of patients admitted for Asthma or COPD were mostly using a bronchodilator, and no maintenance therapy.
- 31% of patients admitted for faecal impaction were mostly taking strong anticholinergic drugs, multiple anti-cholinergic drugs or opioids.
There is some good news though – a Home Medicine Review was able to identify an adverse drug reaction for one in five people and four medication related problems for each patient, thereby making positive changes to their health and well-being.