What is known and objective: Polypharmacy, medication errors and adverse events are common in older people receiving home nursing medication management support. Access to clinical pharmacists is limited. In Australia, few home nursing clients receive a general practitioner (GP)-initiated pharmacist-led Home Medicines Review, despite their eligibility and community nurses' (CN) efforts to facilitate this. An integrated home nursing clinical pharmacy service, in which CNs directly referred clients to a pharmacist, was therefore developed and piloted. The aim was to explore the number and type of medication-related problems (MRPs) and medication treatment authorization (medication order) discrepancies identified and addressed by clinical pharmacists.
Methods: Two part-time clinical pharmacists were employed. They reviewed and reconciled clients' medications, educated clients/carers about their medicines, provided advice and support to CNs and worked with clients' GPs and other prescribers to optimize medication regimens and revise/update nurses' medication treatment authorizations. Evaluation involved review of clients' medicines data, including treatment authorizations and pharmacist medication review reports.
Results and discussion: Eighty-four clients (median 86 years, 6 health conditions, 13 medications) were reviewed. The pharmacists identified 334 MRPs (median 4 per client) and 307 medication discrepancies in treatment authorizations (median 2 per client). The pharmacists made 282 recommendations to prescribers to address MRPs; 148 (52.5%) recommendations were acted on, resulting in 190 medication changes for 60 (71.4%) clients (median 2 per client). The pharmacists prepared, or assisted GPs to update, treatment authorizations for 68 (81%) clients.
What is new and conclusion: Integrating pharmacists into a home nursing service identified and addressed MRPs and medication treatment authorization discrepancies, hence contributing to enhanced medication safety.
- Clinical pharmacist
- Community nurse
- Home nursing
- Medication reconciliation
- Medication review
- Medication-related problems