Medication-related hospital admissions in aged care residents

Australas J Ageing. 2021 Dec;40(4):e323-e331. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12975. Epub 2021 Jun 27.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of medication-related hospitalisations preceded by potentially suboptimal processes of care in aged care residents.

Method: We conducted a retrospective analysis of administrative claims data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). We identified all hospital admissions for aged care residents between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2019. The proportion of hospital admissions preceded by potentially suboptimal medication-related processes of care was determined.

Results: A total of 18 874 hospitalisations were included, and 46% were preceded by potentially suboptimal medication-related care. One-quarter of fracture admissions occurred in residents at risk of fracture who were not using a medicine to prevent fracture, and 87% occurred in residents using falls-risk medicines. Thirty per cent of heart failure admissions occurred in patients who were not using an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker.

Conclusion: Nearly half of hospital admissions were preceded by potentially suboptimal medication-related processes of care. Interventions to improve use of medicines for aged care residents in these areas are warranted.

Keywords: adverse event; aged care; drug-induced disease; health care; hospital admission; quality indicators.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization*
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies