Project Prevent takes off!
In 2018, having undertaken several successful research projects together since 2014, Resthaven and Monash University have embarked on another collaborative project.
Tina Cooper, Executive Manager Residential Services, explains, ‘We are genuinely delighted to work together with the team from Monash to develop a clinical tool that aims to identify risk factors. Our goal is to prevent older people living in residential aged care homes from admission to hospital.’
‘Our previous research identified that falls and infections were two key areas to review in relation to hospitalisation. Very few studies have investigated whether an admission to hospital could have been prevented – that’s where Project PREVENT comes in.’
‘The full name of the project is Pathways to Potentially Preventable Hospitalisations in Residents of Aged Care Services.’
‘Having to go to hospital is not only traumatic for older people and their families, but also a burden on the already stretched health system.’
‘The panels included the chief pharmacist from SA Ambulance, a geriatrician, general practitioner, infectious diseases physician, intensive care paramedic, clinical pharmacist, registered nurses, physiotherapists, researchers, and consumer representatives.’
‘Together, we assessed and discussed data from our original 2014 Resthaven/Monash study, Optimising the use of medicines in aged care facilities, which gathered data from 383 residents across six Resthaven residential aged care homes.’
‘Our subsequent research project, Towards a better understanding of polypharmacy and complex medicine regimens, investigated factors associated with a complex medicine regimen, and whether this is associated with resident quality of life or the risk of hospitalisation.’
‘This resulted in the finding that around 30% of unplanned admissions to hospital are medicine related.’
‘Using the results from these two previous research projects, the expert panel focused their attention on those residents who had been hospitalised, and discussed the key indicators which might have helped prevent those hospitalisations from occurring,’ Tina explains.
‘Working together, the experts asked, “What are the things we could potentially review to prevent someone from going to hospital for a fall or infection-related illness?” Reducing admissions to hospital will improve the quality of life for older people and their families.’
‘Associate Professor Simon Bell will once again lead this important research at Monash and we look forward to working together to develop our findings.’