For older people medication management can be a concern, with older Australians taking up to 12 regular medicines per day and an estimated 30% of hospitalisations caused by medications in people aged over 65.
People who take five or more medicines per day (polypharmacy) are 88% more likely to experience harm from their medicines than people who take two or less medicines per day.
Sound medication management is essential for providing quality health care to older people. Despite Government-funded medication review services, evidence shows they are not adequately meeting all the needs of older Australians.
Ward Medication Management (Ward MM) saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of older Australians, by developing a comprehensive, proactive and collaborative medication matching service called Ward MM Thrive.
Introduced in June 2018, Ward MM Thrive reassures clients and their families that their medications will not cause harm through: DNA analysis that scientifically helps to determine the correct medication and dosage for individuals; in-depth collaboration with residents’ GPs and health care teams; a medication plan that is updated every six weeks; and around-the-clock access to clinical pharmacists specialising in geriatric medicine.
Thrive is currently available to aged care residents living at Allity Aged Care Homes and Uniting AgeWell clients living at home.
Allity Aged Care Head of Clinical Strategy and Development Stephen Wiblin said: “Thrive provides another layer of care for those who are experiencing any negative effects of medications they’re taking. We strive to ensure the experience for residents is the best it can be and the patient-centric model of Thrive has proven to be effective in achieving this.”
Uniting AgeWell General Manager Strategy & Business Development Fonda Voukelatos says: “We’re excited to be one of the founding partners of Ward MM’s Thrive and provide proactive medication care to our clients. By collaborating with GPs and specialists, the Thrive service ultimately enables clients to live independently for longer.”
Mary enjoyed walks around the aged care home gardens but had lost confidence to go out since she started experiencing frequent falls. The most recent fall resulted in an extended stay in hospital and was the catalyst for Mary to try Thrive.
After talking to Mary about her concerns and desired outcomes, her Ward MM clinical pharmacist created Mary’s Thrive plan by reviewing her DNA, medical history and recent test results. Mary’s Thrive plan was agreed with her GP and specialist doctors.
Mary’s DNA results showed her body metabolises Nexium really quickly which meant Mary was not gaining any benefit from the medication. Based on these results Mary stopped taking Nexium, as well as a number of other medications.
After just two months Mary is experiencing benefits including:
*Name changed for privacy