Impact of geriatric consultation on the number of medications in hospitalized older patients
OBJECTIVE:This study aims to determine the impact of the geriatric consultation on the number of medications in hospitalized older adults and the corresponding financial impact. DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective chart review of patients seen by geriatric consultants. SETTING/METHODS:Tertiary-care teaching hospital. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:The number of medications prescribed before hospitalization, at time of consult, and at discharge, and the number and category of medications adjusted by the geriatrician. The monthly cost of the pharmaceutical interventions was computed based on the drugstore.com cost of acquisition of drugs. RESULTS:A cohort of 62 patients was reviewed with a mean age of 84.6 (Â± 7.3) years; 79% were women. The patients presented with an average of 5.6 (Â± 2.1) comorbidities of which hypertension, dementia, and musculoskeletal disorders were the most common. The most common reasons for geriatric consultations were neuropsychiatric, nutritional, and gait-related issues. The geriatric consultant identified 2.96 (Â± 1.5) additional diagnoses, of which debility, delirium, and pain were the most prevalent. The average number of medications on admission was 7.7 (Â± 3.7) and at discharge was 9.5 (Â± 2.12). The average number of medications adjusted by the geriatric consultant was 2.96 (Â± 2.12). The most common classes of adjusted medications were pain medications (22%), nutrition (13%), bowel regimens (8.5%), antipsychotics (8%), and osteoporosis (8%). The cost impact of the pharmaceutical intervention ranged between -$343 and $2,607, with an average increase of $102 (Â± 368). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Geriatric consultations increased the total number of medications and the cost of medications used by elderly patients.
The impact of an end-of-life communication skills intervention on physicians-in-training
The palliative medicine literature consistently documents that physicians are poorly prepared to help patients experience a "good death" and are often unaware of their ill patients' preferences for end-of-life care. The present study, enrolling 150 physicians, sought to improve their communication skills for end-of-life care. We found significant attitudinal changes and a greater degree of self-rated competence in delivering end-of-life care for those in the intervention group. This study used a novel approach to train physicians to be better equipped to conduct difficult goals of care conversations with patients and their families at end-of-life.