PHARMACISTS will partner with patients and doctors in a new national project to reduce patient medication errors that frequently occur during hospital stays.
The CARe-MED project was announced today, $1.4 million Federal Govt-funded project, led by Dr Jacinta Johnson, a pharmacist at the University of South Australia, who is also responsible for driving research development across SA public hospital pharmacies.
Johnson explained that the aim of the project is to improve the quality of care for people aged 65 years and older, who experience three times as many medication errors during hospital stays than younger patients.
"Medication errors are the most frequent and preventable mistakes being made in hospitals today," said Johnson.
"Across Australia, research shows two medication errors are made on admission to hospital for every three patients, and an error occurs one in 10 times a medication is administered, and most of these affect older patients, who are at much higher risk."
The CARe-MED project will implement and evaluate a patient-centred, partnered medication charting and deprescribing model in hospitals using electronic medical records.
This work will build on a range of paper-based pharmacist charting models that have been evaluated in Australia, demonstrating significant reductions in medication errors (from 66% to 3.6%), cutting average hospital stays by 10% and reducing the cost per admission by $726.
"It is important to validate the partnered charting model of care in digital settings as electronic prescribing is known to introduce new error types and patterns," commented Johnson.
"Our partnered charting and deprescribing model aims to minimise this risk and could be scaled to support millions of older people hospitalised with varying health conditions."
The new project will also examine the impact of integrated partnered deprescribing on hospital discharge, and measure how clinicians' work is altered through partnered pharmacist medication charting.
The model will be evaluated at metropolitan and rural hospitals in SA and Qld over the next four years in collaboration with SA Pharmacy, Metro South Health and the University of Queensland. JG
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