Dr Lisa Pont’s research on aged care medication: Driving change through data analysis

Dr Lisa Pont

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) is celebrating Dr Lisa Pont’s recognition by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for her research addressing improved medication use in aged care.

Dr Pont, a clinician/researcher at the University of Technology Sydney and a member of the SHPA Geriatric Medicine Leadership Committee, was acknowledged for the project, ‘Driving Change in Aged Care Pharmacy Practices Through Data.’ The research, identified among the top ten Australian health and medical projects funded by NHMRC, focuses on the impact of polypharmacy in aged care facilities.

Dr Pont’s study, initiated during her Translating Research in Practice fellowship in 2016, examined potentially harmful medication use in Australian nursing homes. She identified issues such as incorrectly prescribed doses and harmful interactions using real-world data from community pharmacies supplied to nursing homes.

Dr Pont says her research demonstrated the value of using routinely collected health data to monitor the impact of polypharmacy in aged care facilities.

‘Polypharmacy is prevalent in the aged care setting and it can lead to many problems such as incorrectly prescribed doses, harmful interactions and the use of unnecessary or harmful medicines.

‘By using real-world data, we could provide feedback to people on what was happening in their facilities and arm them with the appropriate tools and support needed to enact change,’ Dr Pont added.

Her findings influenced recommendations by the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

As the incoming president of the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology and outgoing Director of the SHPA, Dr Pont is actively collaborating globally on data use in pharmacy research and contributing to the integration of data analysis in pharmacy education. She envisions a changing landscape where data becomes integral to healthcare delivery.

Read more about Dr Lisa Pont’s research as part of the 10 of the best NHMRC Research Projects Fourteenth Edition.

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