Essay: Economics / Chapter 14

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[. . .] Although Jykka's (2009) study showed the correlation between polypharmacy and mortality, the question of what to do about it still remains. The article written by Anguita (2011) does offer some suggestions as well as recommendations by national organizations. One intervention is for providers (particularly those in primary care) to more vigilantly review a patient's medications. An annual systematic review of a patient's medications can help to ensure that unnecessary, ineffective, and duplicate treatment drugs are eliminated from their regimen. By having a system that closely monitors medications and how they contribute to a patient's medical needs, it helps ensure that patients are receiving appropriate treatments and are not subjected to taking medications that are no longer indicated or have been ineffective. In addition, better communication between hospitals, specialists, primary care providers, and nursing or assisted living homes can facilitate this process and likely lead to improved outcomes for patients. As is often not done, giving patients explanation and reason for the medications that they are prescribed can go a long way in helping patients become more involved and informed about their own healthcare. This is significant for many reasons, but one important reason is the fact that if patients are more aware of their medications and why they are taking them can facilitate in a patient's ability to take a proactive approach to their healthcare. This certainly includes patients being able better address their questions or concerns about the need and/or effect of the medications they are prescribed.

Another key factor in addressing the polypharmacy problem lies within providers' and prescribers' decision making on treatment plans. Resisting the urge or temptation to prescribe at any opportunity that arises. Considering the potential risks and benefits of prescribing medications needs to be carefully considered. Taking a few moments to consider whether a medical concern can be resolved by means other than drug therapy can make a big difference in a patient's morbidity and mortality.

Sergi, De Rui, Sarti, & Manzato (2011) points out another important issue with polypharmacy, which is patient compliance. The more medications and the more often per day that they need to be taken can have a significant on the patient's compliance with taking the medication as prescribed. Sergi (2011) indicates that if the patient is instructed to take three or more pills per day that the compliance proportionally declines. If a patient is not compliant with their medications, it can have deadly consequences if they are cutting out drugs that are high on the priority list of medications needed to treat serious medical conditions.

The optimal outcome of a polypharmacy intervention is to have a better understanding and control of elderly patients' risks for negative outcomes that stem from this. Annual assessment of a patient's medication list is a simple process that can have a significant impact on a patient's morbidity and mortality. If steps are taken to implement such policies and interventions as described above, the results can make for a more productive and longer life for the elderly.

References

Sergi, G. Sarti, S. & Manzato, E. (2011). Polypharmacy in the elderly: Can comprehensive geriatric assessment reduce inappropriate medication use? Current Opinion, 28, 509-518.

Jyrkka, J., Enlund, H., Sulkava & Hartikainen, S. (2009). Polypharmacy status as an indicator of mortality in an elderly population. Drugs… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Economics / Chapter 14.  (2012, April 30).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/economics-chapter-14/6979349

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"Economics / Chapter 14."  Essaytown.com.  April 30, 2012.  Accessed December 9, 2019.
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