Collaborations and Issues between Pharmacists of Community Pharmacy and Home Nurses to Monitor Self-medication of Elderly at Home

[Speaker] Kanako Sakane:1
[Co-author] Yuta Kobayashi:1, Hiromi Uchida:1, Yuko Tsumoto:1, Miki Fukuma:1, Mayumi Miyamoto:1, Takashi Uehara:2
1:Department of Fundamental Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan, 2:The Pharmacy of Kureyon, Japan

The elderly have various diseases, and they manage multiple medications at home. Our study aims to identify the collaborations and issues between pharmacists of community pharmacy and home nurses in monitoring self-medication of elderly at home; such collaboration is important in monitoring side effects and polypharmacy.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with two pharmacists with more than 3 years of experience in community pharmacy and had supported elderly at home. We asked about collaborations and issues they encountered with home nurses while supporting elderly at home. The obtained data were analyzed using the Steps for Coding and Theorization (SCAT) method. The ethics committee at our institute approved this study.
According to the analysis results, 10 categories were developed for the collaboration between the pharmacists and home nurses. First, the pharmacists "recognized the necessity of collaboration with home nurses" in difficult cases of self-medication of elderly and "their requirement to intervene". Next, they "backed up home nurses based on their expert knowledge on medicine" and "devised dispensing method according to the request of home nurses". Then, they "provided medication-taking instructions". In addition, the pharmacists frequently shared information and discussions with home nurses about elderly.
Six categories of issues including "inadequate recognition of mutual expertise in self-medication support" and "lack of information sharing among doctors, pharmacists, and nurses" were found.
The pharmacists recognized the necessity of collaborations with home nurses in difficult cases of self-medication of elderly. They monitor elderly medications while sharing information with home nurses. However, such collaborations between pharmacists and home nurses have some issues. They were unable to completely utilize each other's expertise. They shared insufficient information to each other. Thus, constructing a self-medication support model based on the results is necessary so that the elderly can self-manage multiple medications at home.
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