May 2017 – Housebound seniors with complex drug therapies often benefit from pharmacist home visits. But what about those elderly patients who can still make it into the pharmacy? It’s a question Toronto pharmacist/owner John Papastergiou set out to answer with the help of funding from the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s Innovation Fund. His gut feeling was that non-homebound patients could be just as affected by medication management issues, which could be identified by a home-based medication review.
Once eligible pharmacy patients were identified (the average age of patients was 77), a home visit was set up where the pharmacist conducted a medication review and cabinet cleanup. While a detailed analysis of the results is still in the works, preliminary findings indicate that Papastergiou’s instinct was right.
Patients in the study had an average of 2.77 drug therapy problems each, and 67% required medication removal due to expired drugs or lapsed indications. “The drug therapy problems were higher than we’d seen for homebound patients because they weren’t getting the same support,” says Papstergiou. “Our goal is to provide a common set of guidelines for pharmacists to know [which non-housebound] patients could benefit most from this service.”