Professor Sarah Hilmer works as a geriatrician and clinical pharmacologist at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, and conjoint professor of geriatric pharmacology at Sydney University, Australia. Dr Danijela Gnjidic is a pharmacologist who is a NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at Sydney University, Australia.
One of the most reversible causes of a geriatric syndrome in our older patients is an adverse drug event. Approximately 1 in 5 hospital admissions amongst older people are due to adverse drug reactions and during their time in hospital 1 in 6 older people experience an adverse drug reaction. Consequently, comprehensive medication review is an integral part of the practice of geriatric medicine.
The process of a health professional withdrawing medicines for which the current risk may outweigh the benefit in their patient has been given a variety of names including the ‘geriatrician’s salute’ and increasingly ‘deprescribing’. Continue reading →
Dr Ramai Santhirapala is an Honorary Consultant in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at Royal Surrey County Hospital and a Clinical Advisor at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. In the latter role she advises on the international programme ‘Choosing Wisely’, which aims to improve conversations between healthcare providers and patients. Dr Santhirapala’s specialist interests are shared decision making and end of life care, believing patients should lie at the heart of healthcare decisions. She has published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine and is undertaking research into educational needs for physicians to practice shared decision making. She tweets at @ramai23
Shared decision making (SDM) is increasingly synonymous with healthcare, moving away from paternalism towards a balanced approach to decision making involving both patients and clinicians. What exactly is SDM? That is the ubiquitous question to which there is currently no universally agreed answer. The King’s Fund intimates a definition pointing out SDM is a process during which patients and physicians use evidence based information to support the deliberation process based on patients’ values, beliefs and preferences. This highlights that a physician is still expected to bring clinical expertise, whilst a patient brings expertise on what matters to them. Continue reading →
Dr Amit Arora is a Consultant Physician and Geriatrician at University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at Keele University.
You may have seen recent stories in the national media about a new campaign launched by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges called Choosing Wisely. It says that patients should be encouraged to ask if tests are really needed, that doctors should discuss potential harms of treatment with patients, and calls for experts to develop lists of common practices that should be stopped.
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