Ensuring safe and optimal medication use in older community residents: Collaboration between a nurse and a pharmacist

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Abstract

The purpose of this retrospective review is to describe 1) a nurse-pharmacist collaboration within a home based nurse-occupational therapist-handyman program called CAPABLE and 2) potential medication problems and 3) information communicated to participants and prescribers about those problems. A chart review was performed for each participant that one CAPABLE nurse referred to the pharmacists. We identified recommendations provided by pharmacists, synthesized common questions posed to the pharmacists' and developed exemplar cases of participant encounters. Fifty-nine participants were reviewed. The median number of total medications was 11 (IQR 9–14.5). Participants were most commonly taking antihypertensives (93%), statins (66%), and supplements/vitamins (61%). Pharmacists provided 83 unique recommendations for the 59 participants. The recommendations from the pharmacist were communicated for 49 of the 59 participants (83%), by the nurse. The nurse-pharmacist collaboration identified medication-related problems and solutions aimed at improving the quality of life for home-dwelling seniors with functional limitations.

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