A harmful cocktail of medicines called polypharmacy is a major problem, especially for the elderly. Each year, thousands of elderly people end up in hospital. No wonder that pharmacies and GPs are expected to check regularly whether their patients are being administered harmful polypharmacy.
Checking for harmful polypharmacy is done using the ‘STRIP’ method. It highlights areas where the problems are to be found. Unfortunately, this method can easily take two hours per patient, so that only 10% of the elderly who need to be checked are actually checked. If a check is carried out at all, it’s done without focussing on the details. It may not take as much time, but it’s not good for the quality of the care. So there are major problems.
For this reason, the University of Utrecht developed the STRIP Assistant, a software program that greatly reduces the time taken while improving the quality of the care. The STRIP Assistant, however, brings with it a major implementation challenge: not only do GPs and pharmacists have to learn to work with the system, the STRIP Assistant is also connected to their information systems. All of this must be done very smoothly and quickly at 3,000 GP surgeries and nearly 10,000 pharmacists, otherwise the implementation is doomed to failure from the beginning.
Funded by the national subsidy provider ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) and together with the University of Utrecht and the Julius Centre, SmartRollout is currently designing the right implementation strategy with all the necessary materials. By doing so we are ensuring that harmful polypharmacy is reduced significantly. Starting in the Netherlands…
“GPs and pharmacists are able to provide better care to the elderly thanks to our STRIP Assistant software program. The national roll-out to 3,000 GPs is only feasible if we use SmartRollout.”
Remco Spruit (Utrecht University)