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  • Barry Holleman

AI could be our partner in answering the 5 crucial medication questions...


In Healthcare Quarterly (the February 2020 edition), Alice Watt, Maryann Murray, Donna Herold, Sylvia Hyland, Carolyn Hoffman and Mike Cass discuss the background, the success and the importance of embedding the '5 questions to ask about your medications' in any interaction with pharmacists, doctors and nurses. AI could be a helpful partner in these interactions and specifically help with the mandate to get the concept further adopted throughout Canada.


Composing the 5 questions is the result of a collaboration between The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada), the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), Patients for Patient Safety Canada (PFPSC), the Canadian Pharmacists Association, and the Canadian Society for Hospital Pharmacists.


Its intent is to provoke the much-needed dialogue between the caregiver, healthcare professionals and the patient.


As next steps the authors discuss collaborating with partners committed to advancing medication safety one conversation at a time. They outline concrete next steps, amongst which the following two caught our eye here at MUUTAA.


"Incorporate results from an 18-month safety improvement project co-ordinated by CPSI and launched in the spring of 2019. Teams are focused on safe medication use and medication reconciliation at discharge. The learnings will inform additional knowledge translation efforts including incorporating the 5 Questions into medication reviews, de-prescribing and patient engagement efforts."


"Continue to work with partners to integrate the 5 Questions more explicitly into de-prescribing, medication reconciliation processes, patient portals and related technologies and other related safe medication initiatives."


How to effectively deploy technologies and automation in order to accelerate these efforts and specifically the medication de-prescribing and reconciliation, is a question that MUUTAA is answering every day.


Do we have the data at our fingertips to deploy algorithms to answer some or all of the 5 questions? Very often we actually do. This is an area that is underexplored and where MUUTAA can be a facilitator for change.

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