Depending on where you are in the world, you may be hearing a lot about “the opioid crisis” that has unfolded in the U.S. in recent years. But did you know this is just one form of iatrogenic dependence? Or that iatrogenic dependence – the official medical term used to describe addiction to a substance that was prescribed by a physician – is an even bigger problem among elderly populations than younger people?
While we should absolutely be highlighting the risks of inadvertent narcotics addiction among people who were simply trying to recover from sports injuries or accidents, we should also be engaging in more public conversations about how to prevent iatrogenic disease among patients who naturally need more medical intervention and, therefore, more pharmaceutical support.
We can probably all relate to seeing an older parent, grandparent, sibling or even friend manage their pill packs. They aren’t just taking a single aspirin a day. They may be taking half a dozen or more pills per day, each of which could potentially lead to addiction. (I’ve learned that even “mild” drugs like commonly prescribed tranquilizers or analgesics can be catalysts for iatrogenic dependence and disease.) But, one day, you and I could be the one prescribed multiple medications. Therefore, we all have a vested interest in what’s being done by the healthcare community to manage pharmaceutical treatments so as not to accidentally create a situation in which we become addicted to a drug and need more frequent or advanced care at home or in the hospital.
That’s why I sat down with three French healthcare experts for the first episode of our new Clini-Chat podcast series* to see what levers could and should be pulled to prevent iatrogenic dependency, especially among elderly patients who are first administered these drugs while in the hospital.
Given all the technology tools at healthcare providers’ disposal, it seems at least some of them could be used to assist with clinical care planning, monitoring, and medication administration. Fortunately, these three experts agreed.
Find out what’s already being done in some hospitals and home health settings to help prevent iatrogenic dependence among elderly patients and help manage existing dependencies at home so that patients don’t have to suffer through repeated hospitalisations. They also share some broader scale clinical practices that they have found helpful in preventing…
iatrogenic dependence among all populations.
oversaturation of healthcare institutions by patients who are better served by high quality home care via constant monitoring and proactive wellness consultations.
I learned a lot from their stories and recommendations, and I’m confident you will too. So, I hope you’ll watch it now, or when you have a 20-minute break this week, and feel free to pass along to others who are equally invested in mitigating iatrogenic dependency, improving home healthcare, and helping patients stay out of the hospital.