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Preventing adverse drug events from medication list discrepancies

Sep 27, 2023 | Impact Stories

As we age, our bodies change, and so does the way we process medication. Combine this with the fact that older adults often have to manage multiple medications for various health conditions, and it’s easy to see how things can get tangled up. While accurate medication lists are necessary to prevent these events, the accuracy of the lists shared during eConsults or asynchronous virtual care for older adults has been unexplored until now.
Dr. Joanne Ho, Schlegel Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, studied the frequency and nature of discrepancies on the medication lists provided by the referring clinicians during GeriMedRisk consultations for older adults. Dr. Ho’s research revealed that almost all older adults in the study had a discrepancy on their medication list, exposing them to potential adverse drug events – the medical term for unwanted and potentially harmful medication mishaps. The results strongly indicate the need to incorporate the use of pharmacist-conducted medication histories to prevent, identify, or manage discrepancies for older adults who receive virtual care.

“Maintaining accurate records of medication use isn’t just a tedious task to be overlooked
– it’s a crucial part of making sure older adults can manage their chronic diseases as smoothly and as safely as possible. This applies to patients in all care settings, even virtual,”
says Dr. Ho.

“Medication discrepancies in older adults receiving asynchronous virtual care,” was published in the prestigious Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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