Pharmacy Archives - THE GRAND

Polypharmacy In Older Adults

By Andrea Hartley, CPhT
Pharmacy Technician and Central Supply Manager
The GRAND of Dublin

Polypharmacy In Older Adults

polypharmacyPolypharmacy is defined as the use of more medications than are medically necessary or the use of too many medications. This is a growing concern for older adults: nearly 50% of the population age 65 and older takes one or more medications that are not medically necessary.  Not medically necessary means a medication is not needed, not effective or that it is a duplicate of another medication.

You may be at risk if you take 5 or more medications at home or 9 or more medications in a nursing home setting.  At home, medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are some of the most over-prescribed drugs.  In a nursing home setting, laxatives, diuretics and medications for heartburn or GERD were the most over-prescribed.

Polypharmacy can result in negative consequences such as adverse drug events, drug interactions and medication non-adherence.  Taking too many medications also causes healthcare costs to rise for companies and consumers.  Serious health issues can also come from this problem, like functional decline, cognitive impairment, and increased risk for falls and incontinence.

At The Grand, a consultant pharmacist looks over every resident’s drug regimen monthly and makes recommendations to the physician on unnecessary drugs.

Preventing Polypharmacy

To prevent polypharmacy in the home setting make sure you or your loved one uses only one pharmacy whenever possible.  Stick with one primary care doctor as well.  If a specialist visit is necessary be sure to have a list of all the drugs you or your loved one takes in hand for the appointment.  Be sure to include over the counter medications or supplements on the list.

If you believe you may take too many medications, most pharmacies and primary care doctors will look over your medications and counsel you on some you may not need.  Use the resources you have to prevent you or your loved one from becoming a victim of polypharmacy.

 

What is a Pharmacy Technician?

By Andrea Hartley, CPhT
Pharmacy Technician / Central Supply Manager
The GRAND of Dublin

Pharmacy Technician

Hello, my name is Andrea and I am the pharmacy technician at The Grand.  Most skilled care & rehab facilities do not have a pharmacy technician; most facilities do not see a need for one.  I can tell you that I help many people during their stay here to understand their medication lists and get what they need, both here and when it’s time for discharge.

What to Expect

Pharmacy Technician If you stay with us at The Grand, I will likely visit you twice.  The first time will be a day or two after your admission.  I will come to your room and make sure that we have received all of your medications from our pharmacy, Omnicare.  At The Grand, all of your medications are stored in a locked cabinet in your private room, instead of in a cart with other patient’s medications.  I will also ask if your pain is being managed effectively; I want to make sure your pain medication (if applicable) is being administered when needed and that you know what you are taking and how often you may have it.

My second visit will likely be a day or two before your scheduled discharge. I will have a list of your medications in hand and we will discuss any changes our doctor has made and I will answer any questions you might have.  I will also confirm which prescriptions you need us to provide when you go home.

I also do work behind-the-scenes to make the Grand a better place to stay.  I suggest alternatives to high cost medications to help lower healthcare costs.  I assist the nurses with getting medications from the pharmacy.  I help maintain our emergency medication stock so we will be prepared when you need a medication that hasn’t arrived yet.  You won’t see me doing these things, but your stay will be better because I am here.

Stop in and see me in the pharmacy at The Grand, at the corner of Main Street and the entrance to the White Ash unit.