It is well recognized that the older age groups are the largest users of medications. While making a significant contribution to the treatment and prevention of disease, increasing life expectancy and improving the quality of life, medicines do have the potential to cause harm. It has been shown that inappropriate or incorrect use of medications can have a negative impact on health outcomes.
Proper medication management, or quality use of medicines, includes a consideration of the appropriateness of the medication prescribed, the correct dispensing and administration, and the provision of appropriate information. The quality use of medicines can have a positive impact on health outcomes and can contribute directly to an improvement in quality of life. Further, cost savings may result from an improved use of medicines.
There is much literature to support the view that an improvement in the use of medication by the elderly, particularly by residents of aged care facilities, is essential and cost-effective. The benefits of an improved outcome through quality use of medicines in residential aged care facilities are so significant that the cost benefit has been clearly identified. Appropriate resources need to be made available to achieve these benefits.
The Part #2 class of Medication Administration contains general guidelines that provide medication administration services to elders, special needs individuals, residents, etc..
The facility/caregiver must have a formalized program of medication management oversight and review by a physician, an RN and/ or a consultant pharmacist to ensure medication policies and procedures are appropriately implemented and followed.
This competence is about working with individuals who have long term conditions and their carers to promote the safe and effective use of medicines. It covers identifying the medicines used by individuals, monitoring their effects, and promoting effective medicines management. It does not cover the administration of medicines by the practitioner, or supporting individuals to administer their own medicines.
This competence is relevant to those who provide proactive and coordinated Case Management. Here, Case Management means identifying and risk stratifying vulnerable, high-risk people with complex multiple long term conditions. Case Management should take place within the philosophy of enabling and promoting self care, self management and independence Users of this competence will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.