Safely Prescribing to Older Adults with Drs. Joanne Ho and Sophiya Benjamin from GeriMedRisk

Drs Joanne Ho and Sophiya Benjamin — Co-Executive Directors of GeriMedRisk, an online consultation platform for healthcare providers to access timely and specialized information that supports their patients’ needs — join the show today to talk about their platform, the way it has been working to promote quality, evidence-based, unbiased information on prescribing for older adults and enabling better access to specialists.

Tune in for this discussion on the new and exciting developments in clinical pharmacology and geriatric psychiatry.

We’re all aging, and everyone’s talking about it!

Key Takeaways

[:40] Jenna introduces today’s guests, Drs. Joanne Ho and Sophiya Benjamin. Dr. Ho talks about what brought her to the Geriatrics field and how she and Dr. Benjamin met as well as how and why they started with GeriMedRisk.

[7:50] Because of the interdisciplinary nature of GeriMedRisk, a typical week will look different depending on your specialty. Dr. Benjamin shares what the consultation process looks like.

[11:31] Dr. Ho shares her clinical-pharmacologist perspective on the type of day GeriMedRisk implies. She also touches on their weekly practice of a pharmacological review of a medication as it applies to older adults, which enables the teams to stay at the forefront of pharmacological learning.

[14:23] The educational initiatives put forth by GeriMedRisk began with a needs assessment which highlighted a pressing demand for high-quality, evidence-based, bias-free information about how to prescribe safely to older adults. Dr. Ho also speaks to the other initiatives, including training graduate physicians.

[20:40] Medications can be quite complex and Dr. Jennifer Tung — co-founder and team member at GeriMedRisk — came up with the idea of infographics!

[23:03] How has COVID-19 impacted online platforms? Dr. Benjamin talks about how the pandemic has underscored the existing inequities in terms of access to specialists and the way GeriMedRisk was already trying to palliate this issue from the onset.

[27:44] Dr. Ho touches on the greater risks of complications from COVID-19 in older adults and the information gathering work GeriMedRisks has been doing to minimize the adverse effects of certain medications in the context of pandemic prescribing.

[33:01] Dr. Benjamin talks about how the pandemic has impacted the GeriMedRisks team and processes as well as their thoughts on expansion, especially in long-term care where the need is pressing.

[38:04] Drs. Ho and Benjamin share their hope for GeriMedRisks for the future.

[41:32] Jenna thanks Dr. Joanne Ho and Dr. Sophiya Benjamin for coming on the podcast. Until next time, subscribe, rate, and share!

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Mentioned in this episode

The MileAGE Podcast

GeriMedRisk — for clinicians

IGeriCare — for caregivers and patients

More about your hosts

Jenna Roddick at APPTA

Jenna Roddick on Twitter

Jenna Roddick on LinkedIn

More about today’s guests

Dr. Joanne Ho is a Geriatric Clinical Pharmacologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine DIvisions of Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology of McMaster University. She is also a Schlegel Clinical research scientist with the Research Institute for Aging in Kitchener Ontario.

Find out more about Dr. Joanne Ho at McMaster University

Dr. Sophiya Benjamin is a Geriatric Psychiatrist and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at McMaster University as well as co-medical Director at Provincial Geriatric Leadership Office.

Find out more about Dr. Sophiya Benjamin at McMaster University