QUM report identifies appropriate level of antipsychotics

NPS MedicineWise is urging residential aged care facilities to use tools such as its drug use evaluation tool or the Quality Use of Medicine (QUM) report it developed with Webstercare to help better manage the use of antipsychotic medicines in people with dementia.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee recently handed down a report on the care and management of people living with dementia and the behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia (BPSD), which recommended that GPs treating aged care residents review their need for antipsychotic medicines every three months.

The committee also recommended that the government create a new Medicare item number that encourages GPs and registered psychologists to undertake longer consultations with patients who have presented with indications of dementia, and that RACFs report any circumstances in which an individual has been prescribed antipsychotic medication for more than six months as part of their annual accreditation audit process.

Figures from Alzheimer's Australia show that up to 80 per cent of people with dementia and nearly half of people in residential aged care are receiving psychotropic medications. However, Alzheimer's Australia says international data suggests that only one in five people with dementia receive any clinical benefit from these medications.

The committee has also encouraged the states and territories to look into developing dementia training facilities like the Perc Walkley Dementia Learning Centre in Victoria, which uses virtual reality and gaming technology to help train aged care workers and show them what life is like for people living with dementia.

NPS has developed a drug use evaluation tool that aged care facilities can use, as well as monitoring and decision-making tools for antipsychotics.

It also worked with pharmacy software vendor Webstercare on the new QUM report functionality, which is integrated into Webstercare's Medication Management Software (MMS).

The QUM enables pharmacists to provide information to RACF staff to help them manage the appropriate use of antipsychotic medicines for residents.

Webstercare CEO Gerard Stevens told Pulse+IT last year that the idea was not to produce a guide to overuse or underuse as some facilities will have higher or lower use of antipsychotics for a number of reasons.

“What this will do is help you investigate whether your level is appropriate,” Mr Stevens said. “All medications carry a risk but there are a lot of side-effects with psychotropic drugs as they affect the modalities of neurological symptoms.

“There is appropriate use of antipsychotics but they should be monitored. If there is overuse, you can then intervene and come up with a strategy.”

Posted in Aged Care

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