CMUS researcher receives Social Impact Award
Women in Innovation South Australia have awarded Monash researcher Dr Janet Sluggett the top prize for their Social Impact category in their recently announced annual “Winnovation” awards.
Women in Innovation is a community working to advance women in non-traditional industries and roles, with particular focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Mathematics) and Innovation.
Dr Sluggett was recognised for research into the implementation of MRS GRACE, a new 5-step tool to facilitate the simplification of medication regimes in aged care facilities.
Up to 63% of residents of aged care services in Australia take nine or more different medications, and over one-third of residents have five or more daily medication administration times. This complexity allows much opportunity for error, and potential subsequent adverse events.
In MRS GRACE (which stands for ‘Medication Regimen Simplification Guide for Residential Aged CarE’), Dr Sluggett and her PhD candidate Esa Chen have developed a method that can effectively aid in streamlining medication regimens. This should ease the burden of medication administration for residents, as well as allowing aged care staff more time to offer other types of care.
“We [the researchers] see the medication simplification process as complementary to the existing medication review process in residential aged care, and it's something extra that pharmacists can have in their toolkit when working with residents and aged care providers,” said Dr Sluggett.
New roles for pharmacists as members of aged care teams is a current topic of discussion, with the ongoing Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and negotiation of the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement.
“Simplifying the way medications are administered is particularly important, because having a complex medication regimen has been linked with poor health outcomes for residents, including frailty, disability and death” she said.