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Substandard medication-related processes in primary care costing millions

Substandard medication-related processes in primary care costing millions - Featured Image

Poor medication-related processes in the primary care setting is resulting in hospital admissions that could be costing hundreds of millions of dollars, a study has found.

Researchers Dr Gillian Caughey and colleagues from the University of South Australia and the BUPA Health Foundation analysed the hospital admissions of 83 430 older patients between July 2007 and June 2012.

They used data from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and found that a quarter of admissions were due to substandard medication related processes.

The results have been published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

They found that for those who were hospitalised for fractures after a fall, 85.4% of those patients aged 65 or over had been prescribed a falls-risk medicine before admission.

Related: NSW emergency departments see 25 percent patient increase

For patients hospitalised for chronic heart failure, 17% hadn’t been dispensed an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) in the previous 3 months prior.

Similarly, “about one in 10 admissions for renal failure occurred in patients with a history of diabetes who had not received a renal function test in the year before admission and were not dispensed an ACEI or ARB,” the authors wrote.

The authors say the study highlights conditions where there are gaps in medication management in the older population.

“The results could be used to inform and focus the development of interventions and efforts to improve the quality of health care delivery, potentially reducing morbidity and health care costs,” they write.

To read the full study, visit the Medical Journal of Australia website.

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