Depre­scrib­ing as im­por­tant as pre­scrib­ing

Ottawa Citizen - - BRUYÈRE FOUNDATION -

A re­search team at the Bruyère Re­search In­sti­tute is de­vel­op­ing guide­lines to help health pro­fes­sion­als and pa­tients nav­i­gate through the com­plex con­cept of depre­scrib­ing. Depre­scrib­ing means safely re­duc­ing or stop­ping med­i­ca­tions.

Bar­bara Far­rell, PharmD, is the co-lead of the Depre­scrib­ing project. She is an in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the Bruyère Re­search In­sti­tute and a phar­ma­cist in the John and Jen­nifer Ruddy Geri­atric Day Hospi­tal at Bruyère Con­tin­u­ing Care. Many pa­tients at the Day Hospi­tal are tak­ing mul­ti­ple med­i­ca­tions. Bar­bara works closely with the pa­tients and the Day Hospi­tal physi­cians to re­duce or stop med­i­ca­tions that are no longer needed or may be caus­ing harm.

Health care pro­fes­sion­als have of­ten lamented that clin­i­cal guide­lines never in­clude in­for­ma­tion about when it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to stop a drug or how to do it safely. Bar­bara and her re­search team used rig­or­ous meth­ods to de­velop and test drug depre­scrib­ing guide­lines that can be used in prac­tice.

These guide­lines ad­dress a num­ber of ques­tions such as when is it safe to re­duce or stop med­i­ca­tions? When could a med­i­ca­tion be caus­ing more harm than ben­e­fit? How should depre­scrib­ing be done?

The Depre­scrib­ing re­search team tested three guide­lines at six sites in Ot­tawa over the last three years. The team also started pub­lish­ing summaries of their guide­lines on their web­site and sub­mit­ted their guide­lines for pub­li­ca­tion. Their work has been pos­i­tively re­ceived across Canada and in­ter­na­tion­ally. The In­sti­tute for Health Care Im­prove­ment and the Com­mon­wealth Fund in the USA se­lected this project as a key health care in­no­va­tion. Use of the guide­lines in var­i­ous US set­tings is also be­ing ex­plored. Bar­bara has also been in­volved in estab­lish­ing the Cana­dian Depre­scrib­ing Net­work (CaDeN).

Bar­bara Far­rell is the co-lead of a team that is de­vel­op­ing guide­lines to help health pro­fes­sion­als and pa­tients nav­i­gate depre­scrib­ing.

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