Australia’s population is getting older. Today around 9% of our population is aged 70 years or older, but longer life expectancy and decreasing birth rates will see this group accounting for 20% of the population by 2051. Inevitably, this ageing of our population is leading to an increased demand for care and support services for the elderly and this demand has driven studies of medication use and errors in the aged care sector.
MIMS has been providing medication information to aged care facilities for decades with staff using our print products, MIMS Annual and MIMS Abbreviated, for prescribing and administration. In recent times, as the IT infrastructure and support has improved, these organisations are turning towards our online and mobile products.
By 2050, it is expected that over 3.5 million older Australians will access aged care services each year (Productivity Commission Report, No 53, 28 June 2011).
MIMS provides medicines data and advanced clinical decision support resources to support the information management needs of today’s growing complex needs in aged care. MIMS Integrated reference data and our clinical decision support solutions are incorporated within leading aged care clinical software solutions ensuring that the medical and nursing staff have the latest medicine information available within the client record.
MIMS powers clinical software applications by providing rapid access to a range of highly sophisticated knowledge bases that can identify when a medicine will interact with the patient’s current medications, health conditions, or known allergies. MIMS complete and up-to-date medicines information aids polypharmacy management strategies and assists in the reduction of “pill burden” in aged care. The use of MIMS reduces the risks of the likelihood of unexpected hospitalization, medication errors, and medication compliance issues. With monthly updates to our content, application developers and their vendors are assured of receiving the most up-to-date data available.
Australian studies of medication incidents involving the aged have found the administration of the wrong medication or someone else’s medications were more common in care facilities, whereas in the home setting, errors were more likely to involve incorrect dosages. A significantly rate of medication administration errors in nursing homes was caused by staffing issues such as excessive workload, distraction, staff not being aware of standard procedures or being unfamiliar with the patient.
MIMS provides medicines data and advanced clinical decision support resources to support the planning, delivery and review of medication management across aged care systems. Staff within nursing homes need access to brief medicine information that assists with identification of pills as well as information around dosage, adverse reactions, indications etc. while administering or reviewing a resident’s medicine regime. Our stand alone electronic reference products such as MIMS Online, eMIMS and mobile device applications such as iMIMS (for iPhone/iPad/iTouch) and MIMS Mobile for smartphones are products of choice in these busy, demanding environments.
MIMS also provides medicine information, through our MIMS Integrated database product, to many software vendors that provide medication management modules within their products. Software developers have access to everything within the MIMS data from medicine formulary lists to decision support modules such as drug interaction checking.
Every nurse knows the MIMS bible (the little book!), MIMS Abbreviated, that has been a quick reference for nearly 50 years. This great book is still very widely used by nurses as a quick check on medications during administration rounds.
Aged care facilities are quickly moving towards a full electronic environment and we are seeing greater use amongst nurses and support staff of our electronic products such as MIMS Online and our mobile products – iMIMS (for iPhone/iPad/iTouch) and MIMS Mobile for smartphones.
The electronic products are proving invaluable for them to check drug interactions particularly with patients who have multiple medications as well as checking the identification of pills e.g. admitting the patient with a plastic bag full of pills but no packaging.