Domiciliary pharmacist visits can identify patient need

Domiciliary visits by community pharmacists to housebound patients who are on more than one medicine can improve understanding of their social care needs, according to research.

A study of 133 patients who completed a domiciliary medicine use review with a pharmacist revealed that more than a quarter of diabetics lacked monitoring, 14.3% were at risk of falling and 11.3% had what the report, published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, described as “inadequate social care.”

The visits uncovered a range of issues affecting housebound patients such as incontinence, dehydration and nutrition and hygiene problems which led to consideration of potential remedies such as hand-rails to prevent falls.

Twelve community pharmacists visited patients in Richmond who were aged between 49 and 98 and were taking an average of 9.4 different medicines including three high-risk medications.

“This study highlighted the varied difficulties facing housebound patients identified during the pharmacists' visits, including a lack of social care provision and fall hazards,” the report said.

“Domiciliary visits by pharmacists may be able to help identify the diverse care needs of isolated housebound patients helping to integrate their care requirements.”

 

 

 

Picture: Jacob Wackerhausen (iStock)

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