Intermediate Care: The Role of Medicines Management

Anna N Millar, Carmel M Hughes, A Peter Passmore, Cristín Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Healthcare systems worldwide are facing an unprecedented demographic change as globally, the number of older people will triple to 2 billion by the year 2050. The resulting pressures on acute services have been instrumental in the development of intermediate care (IC) as a new healthcare model, which has its origins in the National Health Service in the UK. IC is an umbrella term for patient services that do not require the resources of a general hospital but are beyond the scope of a traditional primary care team. IC aims to promote timely discharge from hospital, prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and reduce the need for long-term residential care by optimizing functional independence. Various healthcare providers around the world have adopted similar models of care to manage changing healthcare needs. Polypharmacy, along with age-related changes, places older people at an increased risk of adverse drug events, including inappropriate prescribing, which has been shown to be prevalent in this population in other healthcare settings. Medicines management (the practice of maximizing health through optimal use of medicines) of older people has been discussed in the literature in a variety of settings; however, its place within IC is largely unknown. Despite IC being a multidisciplinary healthcare model, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that enhanced pharmaceutical involvement is core to the service provided within IC. This review article highlights the gap in the literature surrounding medicines management within IC and identifies potential solutions aimed at improving patient outcomes in this setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalDrugs & Aging
Issue number1
Early online date07 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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