A new study published in Age & Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, identified incidents when poor communication between secondary and primary care and failures within primary care led to patient harm and highlights how improved communications systems could help protect older patients from harm. Timely electronic transfer of information with standardised formats could reduce medication and clinical decision-making incidents. Electronic alerts and expanded use of bar-coding are examples of systems which could tackle drug administration incidents.
Older adults are frequent users of primary healthcare services and account for half of all 340 million general practice consultations in the United Kingdom each year. The study was conducted by researchers at Cardiff University School of Medicine and examined 1,591 patient safety reports relating to patients aged over 65 in England and Wales over an eight year period. Continue reading →
Duncan Forsyth is Consultant Geriatrician in Cambridge and was a specialist adviser to the Quality Standards Development Group.
On July 24th 2014, NICE published its Delirium Quality Standards to assist health and social care drive-up the quality of delirium management in hospital and care home settings. The standards cover: assessment; prevention; use of antipsychotic medication; communicating the diagnosis; information and support to those who have delirium and their carers. Delirium is probably the commonest complication of hospitalisation in older people and has a high prevalence in those in long-term care. Continue reading →