REDUCING CONSUMER HARM

An Electronic Medication Management system that can assist in drastically Reducing Consumer Harm
Senior people watching television together

We know that medications can affect people in different ways and can be the leading cause for our seniors to be hospitalised. Some of those reasons for hospitalisation could be related to the following:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Falls
  • Confusion
  • Poor bowel management 
  • Poor pain Management
  • Polypharmacy
  • Psychotropic drug management

As we start to move onto digital platforms the transparency and visibility of what is being prescribed and administered to consumers is becoming more apparent. An electronic medication management solution is allowing a clearer picture of what maybe occurring with the consumer and may lead to less hospitalisations and provide for improved consumer outcomes.

There maybe other contributing factors apart from medications that maybe affecting the consumer but what better way to start than with a medication review to determine if medications are indeed the cause.

For instance, if a resident is losing weight a review of the medications should occur to see if the consumer is on medication that is making them excessively drowsy and causing them to sleep through meals leading to poor intake of both fluids and food. Which then leads on to constipation due to lack of fluid intake and poor food intake. Or are they on a medication that has the potential to cause weight loss.

Constipation then leads onto agitation, confusion, discomfort and or pain. Perhaps the medication that is causing them to be excessively drowsy will affect their balance leading to a fall.

A fall may result in a fracture, skin tear or other wounds. Poor nutrition will then affect how those wounds heal and can lead onto other wound related issues. 

They maybe on multiple medications (polypharmacy) that are not necessarily providing the consumer with the best outcomes and are a contributing factor to the consumers weight loss, falls, poor bowel and pain management.

Because they are confused, and agitated staff may think this requires a medication as they have tried other strategies that have not been successful (restrictive practices). But maybe all they need is to have their constipation addressed and their agitation and confusion, pain and discomfort will also resolve.

A simple change to the medication such as the strength or the type of medication being administered could potentially change the whole dynamic for the consumer or even the option of deprescribing should be a consideration.

Added to the medication review one might consider having the consumer assessed for swallowing, conduct a dental hygiene check to determine that there are no oral issues leading to poor intake. Consider the consumers diet to see if it is still suitable, engage with the dietitian for a dietetics review.

Nothing should be done in isolation, a wholistic approach needs to be considered of which medication management should be front and centre along with a clinical review of other potential causes. 

An electronic medication management system such as BESTMED can pull real time meaningful reports to enable timely assessment of consumers across several areas at any time that will support your regulatory compliance obligations and key quality indicators. 

An electronic medication management system can support you in providing improved outcomes for your consumers, provide real time information that is accurate timely and available for the provider, pharmacy, and prescriber on the one resident record. Medication Management plays a role in reducing consumer harm, improving quality of care and assists in the provision of best practice.

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If you would like a demonstration on the BESTMED electronic Medication Management system, please contact Sadie Burling on 0416204908.

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