When patients, caregivers, doctors and pharmacists function as a team, medication-related problems can be avoided, contributing to better outcomes and improved daily functioning. Here are some tips for managing medication use. 

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), based in suburban Philadelphia, is the nation’s only 501c (3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use. ISMP represents over 35 years of experience in helping healthcare practitioners keep patients safe, and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process. The organization is known and respected worldwide as the premier resource for impartial, timely, and accurate medication safety information.

Medication reconciliation is a formal process in which healthcare providers work together with patients, families and care providers to ensure accurate and comprehensive medication information is communicated consistently across transitions of care. Medication reconciliation requires a systematic and comprehensive review of all the medications a patient is taking (known as a BPMH) to ensure that medications being added, changed or discontinued are carefully evaluated. It is a component of medication management and will inform and enable prescribers to make the most appropriate prescribing decisions for the patient. 
 
This link will direct you to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada's education and training resources where they list available workshops and open access learning modules.

This article relates the issues of medications and falls in the elderly. It covers:

  • Prevalence and consequences
  • Risk Factors
  • Falls Risk Assessment
  • Fall Prevention Interventions
  • Resources and References

Elderly patients are much more vulnerable to the various insults associated with hospitalization compared to their younger counterparts. Some common adverse events we see in hospitalized elders include: functional decline, delirium, undernutrition, and polypharmacy.

For more than 20 years, the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults have been a leading source of information on safely prescribing medications for older people. The American Geriatric Society Beers Criteria identify medications with risks that may be greater than their benefits for people age 65 and older. In 2015, the AGS Beers Criteria were again updated by an expert panel of healthcare and pharmacy experts to help prevent potential medication side effects and other medication-related problems in older adults. 

 HealthinAging.org, created by the American Geriatrics Society's Health in Aging Foundation, to provide consumers and caregivers with up-to-date information on health and aging. Overseen by a team of experts on caring for older adults, HealthinAging.org content is based on resources that the American Geriatrics Society has developed for its professional members. 

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada is an independent national not-for-profit organization committed to the advancement of medication safety in all healthcare settings. ISMP Canada works collaboratively with the healthcare community, regulatory agencies and policy makers, provincial, national and international patient safety organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and the public to promote safe medication practices. ISMP Canada's mandate includes analyzing medication incidents, making recommendations for the prevention of harmful medication incidents, and facilitating quality improvement initiatives. Information about ISMP Canada's work with Canadians to prevent medication incidents is available at: www.ismp-canada.org; and also at www.SafeMedicationUse.ca, a website designed for consumers.

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