On Sept. 1, 2011, United Way of Dane County (UWDC) launched its Safe & Healthy Aging Initiative at Promega Corp. in Fitchburg, WI. The initiative is intended to reduce the rate of falls and adverse drug events by 15% by the year 2015. The initiative was started two years ago by UWDC, in collaboration with senior services and health care providers, by first gathering evidence on what is evidenced to cause older adults lose their independence. Then, in 2010, UWDC assembled a 40 member delegation to review the evidence and devise a mobilization plan to reach out to the community and implement evidence-based solutions to help older adults remain independent. The delegation was composed of health care professionals, senior service providers, caregivers and older adults themselves. The four areas that were defined by the delegation as the triggers were: adverse drug events, falls, dementia and urinary incontinence. The delegation decided that its initial focus for funding and collaboration would be preventing adverse drug events and falls.
UWDC partnered with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) and geriatric pharmacists to develop a Geriatric Toolkit to be used by PSW’s Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative (WPQC) pharmacists when conducting comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs). The participating WPQC pharmacists were trained on how to use the toolkits and learned how to perform CMRs in older adults with the intent of identifying risk for ADEs, including falls, and probable ADEs. They then learned how to develop a medication action plan to address these ares of risk in order to prevent unnecessary harm or loss of independence of older adults.
This initiative is a unique model in which multiple providers across the health care spectrum of delivery were brought together to collaborate and define a process, whereby an interdisciplinary effort could be made available to seniors throughout the county. For more information on the initiative, go to: www.safeandhealthyaging.org