Background: Residents of aged care facilities use increasingly complex medication regimens. Reducing unnecessary medication regimen complexity (eg, by consolidating the number of administration times or using alternative formulations) may benefit residents and staff.
Objective: To develop and validate an implicit tool to facilitate medication regimen simplification in aged care facilities.
Method: A purposively selected multidisciplinary expert panel used modified nominal group technique to identify and prioritize factors important in determining whether a medication regimen can be simplified. The five prioritized factors were formulated as questions, pilottested using non-identifiable medication charts and refined by panel members. The final tool was validated by two clinical pharmacists who independently applied the tool to a random sample of 50 residents of aged care facilities to identify opportunities for medication regimen simplification. Inter-rater agreement was calculated using Cohen’s kappa.
Results: The Medication Regimen Simplification Guide for Residential Aged CarE (MRS GRACE) was developed as an implicit tool comprising of five questions about 1) the resident; 2) regulatory and safety requirements; 3) drug interactions; 4) formulation; and 5) facility and follow-up considerations. Using MRS GRACE, two pharmacists independently simplified medication regimens for 29/50 and 30/50 residents (Cohen’s kappa=0.38, 95% CI 0.12–0.64), respectively. Simplification was possible for all residents with five or more administration times. Changing an administration time comprised 75% of the two pharmacists’ recommendations.
Conclusions: Using MRS GRACE, two clinical pharmacists independently simplified over half of residents’ medication regimens with fair agreement. MRS GRACE is a promising new tool to guide medication regimen simplification in aged care.
- Drug administration
- Long-term care
- Medication regimen complexity
- Medication therapy management