A Polypharmacy application to Improve Health Outcomes in Older Adults.

Author(s) & Credentials: Carole Goodine, BScPharm, ACPR, Pharm D

Affiliated Institution(s): Horizon Health Network, Centre for Research in Aging at York Care Centre

Acknowledgements: Funding was provided got this topic project by AGE-WELL, NBHRF, CABHI, and NBIF

What inspired you to begin researching this area? Describe the main issue or challenge you intend to address with this project.

Many older adults are taking medication that may be causing them harm or are no longer needed. Multiple medications (Polypharmacy) may be needed to manage health however, changes due to aging and a high number of medications increases the risk of adverse effects. MedSafer is a computer program developed by Drs Emily McDonald and Todd Lee to identify opportunities to reduce (deprescribe) medications in hospital. Our challenge is to determine if we can to use MedSafer to reduce medication use among older adults living in New Brunswick Nursing Homes.

Briefly summarize your research project.

We have developed a Polypharmacy application (App) powered by MedSafer, to identify medications associated with increased risk and/or low value for older adults. Our research is designed to study the impact of the App on medication use in New Brunswick nursing homes.

Discuss some of the past, present, and/ or intended future real-world applications of this research.

Our past work focused on ensuring that data could be securely transmitted from our nursing home records to MedSafer for analysis, and then linked back from MedSafer to the nursing home patient record. Now, we are concentrating on usability of the App and the impressions of care providers regarding information provided by MedSafer. Final research will include an analysis of medication changes and safety data for the study duration.

If applicable, identify any important policy or practical implications this research may have.

This project has the potential to facilitate practice change by helping care providers ensure that they are giving older adults the right medications that optimize their wellbeing. Automatically screening medications and identifying possibilities for medication tapering can reduce the time it takes to implement a deprescribing care plan. It is our hope that the Polypharmacy App will improve health outcomes for older adults by optimizing their medication use.