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The Health Quality & Safety Commission is partnering with the aged residential care (ARC) sector to develop and implement a quality improvement programme. This includes a focus on improving the use of medicines, specifically antibiotics, antipsychotics and fentanyl.

This work has been delayed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, however we hope to resume a revised programme of work later in 2020.

Early in 2020 the Commission undertook a rapid literature review around three areas of prescribing in ARC. Evidence for current practice in New Zealand suggests that not all use of antibiotics for urinary tract infection, antipsychotics for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, or fentanyl for chronic pain follows evidence-based guidance. The report, compiled by Adapt Research, outlines potential interventions to reduce the use of inappropriate prescribing, and problematic polypharmacy. The findings can be used to inform targeted approaches to improve the use of these medicines in the ARC population.

Resources include:

  • Appropriate medication use in aged residential care: Optimising the use of antibiotics, antipsychotics and fentanyl (report)
  • A presentation (summarising key findings) to our ARC Leadership Group and Quality Leads Forum members

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Last updated: 16th December, 2021