Objective: The objective of this study was to assess implementation of a pharmaceutical care model for the multidisciplinary care of elderly patients in nursing homes.
Setting: Prospective study, medication review, from January 2007 to December 2009 in ten nursing homes affiliated to the Pharmacie interjurassienne (PIJ), Switzerland.
Method: Medication use data were collected and reviewed by a pharmacist, focusing on drug indication, dosing, side effects, renal/hepatic elimination and interactions. Drug-related problems (DRPs) were discussed face-to-face with the responsible physician and a nurse. The pharmaceutical care issues were formulated and medication interventions proposed during this meeting. DRPs and interventions were documented using the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe scheme version 5.00 (PCNE V5.00). The economic impact of the service was estimated through a retrospective evaluation of annual drug costs. A satisfaction evaluation was conducted among practitioners and nurses.
Main outcome measures: DRPs, interventions, treatment changes implemented.
Results: Drug therapy of 329 patients was reviewed. The number of medicines per patient ranged from 2 to 27 (mean 12.8). A total of 1,225 DRPs were detected and discussed with the physician and the nurse. Medication review led to 343 medical evaluations secondary to drug-drug interactions and 803 treatment adaptations: 373 drugs were stopped, 197 dosages changed, 95 instructions for use amended, 86 drug choices were altered, 35 drug formulations changed and 17 new drugs started. According to the Anatomical Classification System, the main classes involved in interventions were related to Alimentary tract and metabolism (n = 285), Nervous system (n = 189) and Cardiovascular system (n = 115). Since the outset of the PIJ, the annual drug costs decreased in nursing homes with medication review including a pharmacist, whereas it was stable in the other nursing homes. The satisfaction evaluation showed a very positive appreciation by practitioners and nurses.
Conclusion: The study showed an efficient pharmaceutical care model, well accepted by physicians and nurses. It also indicated that for elderly patients, continuous drug review contributed to improved drug therapy, reduced unnecessary polypharmacy and reduced pharmaceutical costs.