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How to keep 325,000 Australians out of hospital

Approximately 650,000 Australians per year end up in hospital for drug problems, according to a PSA report.

Drug Safety Report: Please note that 250,000 people are admitted to the hospital every year, while 400,000 have been contacted by emergency services.

It costs the country $ 1.4 billion a year.

PSA President Chris Freeman said that at least 50% of the errors in treatment could be avoided if the "siled" approach to medication was removed.

"If drug damage was a chronic disease, it would already be a national health priority," he said.

"The report emphasizes that governments, pharmacists and other health professionals have to work together to reduce the alarming frequency of medication, accidents, abuse, and interaction."

Here are eight other key conclusions from the report:

  1. Almost every elderly resident (98%) had at least one drug-related problem when viewed. Up to 80% is prescribed by inappropriate medication.
  2. 17% of unplanned hospitalization of nursing homes was caused by inappropriate medicines.
  3. The pharmacists have identified at least one error in treatment in 60% of hospital release abstracts when they were involved in the preparation.
  4. Only 20% of the change in drug regimens in the hospital is described in detail in the discharge summary. Nine out of ten patients have at least one drug-related problem after being discharged from the hospital.
  5. A timely summary of the release was not given in 20% of patients with high risk for hospitals' readmission.
  6. Polyphagia is responsible for 70% of cases of hospitalization due to side effects.
  7. One-quarter of the patients who took the medicines that relied on the cleansing kidneys were prescribed for excessive doses.
  8. About 16% of people with low renal function received at the hospital were given a drug that should not be prescribed. And 21% prescribed an inappropriate dose.

The PSA report was prepared by the University of the Center for Drug Quality Research and Pharmacy Research.

More information: Drug Safety: Be Careful

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