Prescriber feedback to improve quality use of medicines among older people: the Veterans' MATES program

J. Simon Bell, Lisa M. Kalisch, Emmae N Ramsay, Nicole L Pratt, John D Barratt, Tammy LeBlanc, Elizabeth E Roughead, Andrew L. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2004, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) has funded the Veterans' Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services (MATES) program. The main intervention of the program is quarterly targeted patient-specific prescriber feedback. The feedback comprises a list of relevant medications dispensed to each patient and notes about potential medication related problems specific to the intervention. Supportive educational material is provided to assist general practitioners (GPs) resolve these medication-related problems. Veterans identified in the GP mailing are sent an educational brochure highlighting medication issues and encouraging them to speak with their doctor. To enable pharmacists to support this practice change, educational material is also provided to all pharmacies and accredited pharmacists. The most recent of the 28 interventions implemented to date have addressed osteoporosis, opioid-induced constipation and urinary incontinence. Overall, program materials have been mailed to 249 454 veterans, 34 527 GPs and around 8000 pharmacies and accredited pharmacists. Evaluation has demonstrated a doubling of home medicines review (HMR) rates in the veteran population. Analyses of the DVA data have reported a 45% reduction in hospitalisation for heart failure following HMR among veterans with heart failure (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.4-0.8), and a 79% reduction in hospitalisation for haemorrhage (HR 0.2; 95%CI 0.05-0.9) 2 to 6 months after an HMR in veterans dispensed warfarin. Veterans' MATES has resulted in clinically significant improvements in medication and health service use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-319
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this