Designing a tool ensuring older patients the right medication at the right time after discharge from hospital– the first step in a participatory design process

BMC Health Services Research(2024)

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On average, older patients use five or more medications daily, increasing the risk of adverse drug reactions, interactions, or medication errors. Healthcare sector transitions increase the risk of information loss, misunderstandings, unclear treatment responsibilities, and medication errors. Therefore, it is crucial to identify possible solutions to decrease these risks. Patients, relatives, and healthcare professionals were asked to design the solution they need. We conducted a participatory design approach to collect information from patients, relatives, and healthcare professionals. The informants were asked to design their take on a tool ensuring that patients received the correct medication after discharge from the hospital. We included two patients using five or more medications daily, one relative, three general practitioners, four nurses from different healthcare sectors, two hospital physicians, and three pharmacists. The patients’ solution was a physical location providing a medication overview, including side effects and interactions. Healthcare professionals suggested different solutions, including targeted and timely information that provided an overview of the patient’s diagnoses, treatment and medication. The common themes identified across all sub-groups were: (1) Overview of medications, side effects, and diagnoses, (2) Sharing knowledge among healthcare professionals, (3) Timely discharge letters, (4) Does the shared medication record and existing communication platforms provide relevant information to the patient or healthcare professional? All study participants describe the need for a more concise, relevant overview of information. This study describes elements for further elaboration in future participatory design processes aimed at creating a tool to ensure older patients receive the correct medication at the correct time.
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Key words
Polypharmacy,Older people,Adverse drug reactions,Medication errors,Continuity of care,Participatory design,Qualitative research
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