Improving medicine management of the elderly

Julia Gilmartin

Julia Gilmartin

With an eye to the ageing population, one Monash researcher is focused on improving the provision of medicines to Victorians in aged care facilities.

A registered pharmacist and PhD candidate at the Monash University Centre for Medicine Use and Safety (CMUS), Julia Gilmartin's current research project is entitled ‘A review of dose administration aids: improving medicine management’.

Ms Gilmartin’s particular focus is the accuracy of pharmacy supplied dose administration aids, such as blister packs and sachets.

“Since graduating from Monash University in 2009, my interest has been in improving medicine management and the provision of pharmacy services,” Ms Gilmartin said.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy staff exercise a great level of care when they prepare these aids to be used in aged care facilities for medicine administration, so it is important to see what problems may occur and to help improve this medicine preparation system.”

The flow on effects of her research may see an improvement in dose administration aid provision in Victoria as well as other Australian states and to community-dwelling users of these devices.

“My research aims to improve pharmacy packing of these aids, and aged care staff handling of medicine problems found within them,” Ms Gilmartin said.

“Both pharmacy and nursing staff take on a great responsibility in medicine preparation and administration and we’d like to help support their efforts with our quality improvement activities.”

Ms Gilmartin recently won the award for Best Student Oral Presentation at the Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association (ASPA) conference in Adelaide for her talk on her PhD research project.

The APSA is a professional society for individuals with an interest in pharmaceutical sciences that hosts an annual conference as a forum for presentation of research, with an emphasis on participation by postgraduate students.