Background: Adverse drug events (ADE) and medication errors (ME) provide large numbers of victims. Older people are more susceptible to these events, due to the continuing search for several chronic degenerative disease treatments. The Third Global Patient Safety Challenge announced the objective of reducing unnecessary polypharmacy, encouraging deprescription, and aiming to ensure the prescription of medications in an appropriate manner, based on the best evidence and taking into account the individual factors of people.
Objective: To evaluate whether Pharmaceutical Care (PC), when inserted in a geriatric ward and the context of person-centered health care, cooperates with the safety of pharmacotherapy in older individuals in Brazil.
Methods: This is an investigative, single-arm, preliminary study. Inclusion criteria: individuals aged ≥60 years and admitted to the geriatric ward between August 2019 to January 2020. The PC (with the practice of pharmacotherapeutic follow-up, medication reconciliation, and pharmacotherapy review) was made available to identify ADE and ME, as well as the associated factors and clinical outcomes, were analyzed.
Results: 60 participants were included. It was found that, on hospital admission, 93.3% of them were polymedicated and 86.7% had a history of using potentially inappropriate medications (PIM). ADE and ME were detected in 43 individuals (71.7%) and, in total, 115 incidents were identified, with drugs that act on the nervous system associated with them (31.9%). Acceptance of the PC’s recommendations reached the rate of 85.2%. Polypharmacy (p=0.03) and the presence of multiple diseases (p=0.03) had an effect on the presentation of ADE and ME. The number of medications in use decreased in the comparison between admission and hospital discharge (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: This investigative study indicated that ADE and ME are linked to the polypharmacy in use at the beginning of hospitalization. On the other hand, we showed that the PC (inserted in the multidisciplinary team) contributed to the deprescribing of medications at hospital discharge. Therefore, the PC can provide improvements in this scenario.
Trial Registration: Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials (registration number: RBR-34f2px4).