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SIMPATHY Project Newsletter issue #06, June 2017
SIMPATHY Project Newsletter issue #06, June 2017
Dear SIMPATHY friends,
Welcome! Although this is our last newsletter of SIMPATHY, we are really at the beginning of this journey to address inappropriate polypharmacy and adherence and improve the outcomes for people across the EU.
Additional work undertaken by the group members means that polypharmacy will be taken forward as a flagship area as part of the WHO Third Global Patient Safety challenge on Medication Safety and the launch of the Special Interest group on polypharmacy at the International Foundation on Integrated Care means that you can join a forum where individuals are committed to delivering this as part of a patient pathway. ESPACOMP will also take forward the issues of addressing polypharmacy as part of the adherence agenda and the work will also be taken forward by the EU partners that are part of the EIP AHA addressing adherence and prescription.
All of us have a role to play in leadership to drive change to manage polypharmacy, regardless of the position we hold and whether we are patient organisations, government bodies clinicians managers or policy makers. The SIMPATHY handbook highlights SIX key recommendations. They are:
- To use a systems approach that has multidisciplinary, clinical and policy leadership
- To nurture a culture that encourages and prioritises the safety and quality of prescribing
- To ensure that patients are integral to the decisions made about their medicines and are empowered and supported to do so
- Use data to drive change
- Adopt an evidence based approach with a bias towards action
- Utilise, develop and share tools to support implementation
Adopting these recommendations will prepare EU countries for the WHO Global Challenge to improve medication safety of which polypharmacy is an essential element.
We look forward to continuing to work with you on this challenge.
SIMPATHY High Level Conference
SIMPATHY High-level conference took place in Scotland House, Brussels, on 27thApril, 2017. The conference had 90 attendees with the participation of high level speakers, members of the European Parliament, policymakers and stakeholders from different areas. The event explored how the SIMPATHY project results can lead to better health policies across Europe. Opportunities for more European initiatives to improve the management of polypharmacy and adherence to support change across the EU were discussed.
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport of Scottish Government, introduced the conference as a keynote speaker. Shona Robison made a call for action on improved use of medicines, pointing out that change in polypharmacy management is important to “deliver better outcomes for patients across Europe and cost effective use of resources.” She invited those attending to sign a pledge to address the challenges of polypharmacy management.
Professor Marty Linsky, an eminent ‘thought leader’ from Harvard University, gave a keynote address on the importance of leadership in healthcare change management, emphasising the challenge of leading change on polypharmacy management as these reforms are often painful and require public acceptance.
Dr Neelam Dhingra, Coordinator of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Unit from WHO, gave a keynote speech on “Polypharmacy and patient safety: the global challenge”. Neelam Dhingra underlined the issue of a rapidly aging, multimorbid population and highlighted that optimising the appropriate use of medicines is an important enabler of healthy aging.
Dr Marianne Takki, from European Commission’s Directorate General Health and Food Safety, explored “The importance of managing polypharmacy for multimorbidity in an integrated care policy context”, reminding participants that better health means stronger economies.
Alpana Mair, Head of Effective Prescribing and Therapeutics, from the Scottish Government, and SIMPATHY project coordinator, focused on the overview of the project’s findings and on key policy messages.
Dr Albert Alonso, vice chair and secretary of International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC), Prof Bernard Vrijens, Executive Committee member of European Society for Patient Adherence, Compliance and Persistence (ESPACOMP), and Prof Przemyslaw Kardas, Promoter to Action Group “Prescription and adherence to treatment” of the European Innovation Partnership on Active & Healthy Aging (PROEIPAHA), made a Call to Action at European Level on national policy. These calls to action were followed by an interactive discussion in which panelists and participants debated some of the points raised by the experts.
SIMPATHY HANDBOOK – Polypharmacy Management by 2030: a patient safety challenge
SIMPATHY consortium has launched a Reference Book – “Polypharmacy Management by 2030: a patient safety challenge” (Download here). The book explores how healthcare management programs can be implemented to improve medication safety and prevent patient harm by addressing the appropriate use of multiple medications (polypharmacy). It highlights the idea that fundamental to these programs is the principle that providers work in partnership with patients to enable shared decision making regarding medication, to improve patient adherence and medicine related outcomes.
The content is informed by the findings of the SIMPATHY project case studies, analysis of SIMPATHY change management tools, SIMPATHY literature review and benchmarking survey, and SIMPATHY Delphi study
SIMPATHY project aims to raise the awareness of the impact of polypharmacy on patient safety. The reference book shows the importance of transforming this awareness into action by implementing effective polypharmacy management across the EU. The handbook provides detail about how the recommendations could be implemented.
Commitment to task force by policymakers
SIMPATHY project aims to inspire health leaders, policymakers, professionals and key stakeholders to adopt new approaches to improve outcomes related to Polypharmacy Management.
In order to build a policymakers task force, a “pledge” was created and participants at the High-Level Conference were invited to sign it. Signing the “pledge”, policymakers and stakeholders pledged to learn more about the challenge of polypharmacy management, pledged to help raise awareness of the solutions and to help advocate for change and improvement.