Sustaining practice change in health care: the impact of a national quality improvement program on the uptake of collaborative medicines reviews

Lisa M. Kalisch Ellett, Nicole L. Pratt, Janet K. Sluggett, Emmae N. Ramsay, Mhairi Kerr, Vanessa T. LeBlanc, John D. Barratt, Andrew L. Gilbert, Elizabeth E. Roughead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: We evaluated the impact of quality improvement interventions at different time points on the uptake of collaborative Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs). 

Methods: National interventions to promote HMRs, comprising patient-specific prescriber feedback and tailored educational materials for patients and clinicians, were conducted in 2004, 2006 and 2011 through the Veterans’ Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services (Veterans’ MATES) program. Primary care patients taking multiple medicines were targeted in each intervention, while primary care patients taking multiple medicines who did not receive the intervention served as comparisons. Monthly HMR rates among targeted patients and a comparison group in the 9 months post-intervention were determined using health claims data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs and compared using log binomial regression models. Overall trends in the rate of HMRs between November 2001 and December 2016 were also determined. 

Results: Over 40 000 patients were targeted in each HMR intervention. Relative increases in HMR uptake were observed among patients targeted in the 2004 intervention (rate ratio (RR) 1.76 (1.39, 2.22), p < 0.0001), the 2006 intervention (RR 1.45 (1.19, 1.76), p = 0.0002) and the 2011 intervention (RR 2.81 (2.34, 3.37), p < 0.0001) compared to the comparison group. Overall, the monthly HMR rate increased from 0.2 per 1000 patients in November 2001 to 2.7 per 1000 patients in December 2012. 

Conclusion: Regular repetition of quality improvement messages has led to sustained increases in HMR uptake among Australian veterans over the last decade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-230
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • medicines review
  • prescriber feedback
  • quality improvement

Cite this