Spread and Scale of a Polypharmacy App to Improve Health Outcomes of Older Adults Living in New Brunswick Nursing Homes | MEKTU | NB-IRDT | UNB

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Spread and Scale of a Polypharmacy App to Improve Health Outcomes of Older Adults Living in New Brunswick Nursing Homes

Lead organization: York Care Centre, Centre for Innovation and Research in Aging

Principle investigator(s): Dr. Carole Goodine and Justine Henry

About the project:

The issue

Older adults often take lots of medicine for different illnesses and conditions. Some medicine helps people stay healthy and live longer.  However, as we get older, the way medicine works in our body may change and this can lead to problems and serious side effects.

We must find ways to stop harmful medicines that seniors are taking.

The importance

People are living longer and taking a lot more medicine.

Medicine is expensive and can cause side effects. Some side effects caused by medicines are upsetting and uncomfortable, and some can be very dangerous. No one wants to visit the emergency department or hospital because their medicines made them sick, but sometimes this happens.

One way to make sure medicine is safe is to have a doctor or pharmacist do a prescription check-up. A prescription check-up is very helpful for safety, but it can be complicated, and it takes time. In a prescription checkup, the doctor or pharmacist looks for medicines that may no longer be needed or are dangerous. Sometimes the dose of a medicine is lowered, safer options are chosen, or the medicine might even be stopped.

It is important that we find ways to make it easier for doctors and pharmacists to do prescription check-ups.

What makes this project different

This project allows doctors and pharmacists to use a computer program (called an App) to look for medicines that are no longer needed or may be harmful for older adults living in nursing homes.

Our App is called MedReviewRx. It uses a computer program called MedSafer to make a report with suggestions for how to simplify the amount or type of medicines older adults are taking and make these safer for the individual.

Anticipated impacts

We anticipate that doctors and pharmacists who use MedReviewRx will do more prescription check-ups.

We also anticipate that doing more prescription check-ups will lead to a decrease in medication use, including harmful medication. There will be fewer side effects and lower medication costs. 

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