November 22, 2017 – Simplifying


Anchor lead: Can medication regimens be simplified to achieve patient goals? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Seniors with serious illness are troubled by their medication and healthcare regimens more than any other aspect of their care, a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation asserts. Alicia Arbaje, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says one response by caregivers may be to simplify things, based on the patient’s goals.

Arbaje: So if the person’s goal is to be able to get to church on Sundays and be mobile enough to be with their grandchildren then maybe we don’t want to be giving them medications for their blood pressure that might make them dizzy or fall. Even though we would like to see their blood pressure lower, I think having those really important conversations about what are your goals, what is it that we can best help you with. What are your top three concerns? And then let’s streamline the medications to really meet those concerns. I think that tailored approach is really what will get people on board to get them to take the medications we do want them to take.  :32

Arbaje applies this lens of patient concerns as primary in deciding which medicines are reasonable. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.