The goal of the Recommendations for a National Strategic Action Plan to reduce Inappropriate Polypharmacy is to improve quality use of medicines to optimise successful ageing in older Australians. This can only be widely achieved through the delivery of an integrated cohesive implementation plan, which includes collaboration and contribution of all stakeholders.

The National Strategic Action Plan is relevant to consumer, professional, academic, government and policy making organisations for the following purposes:

  • Raise awareness of the significant challenges polypharmacy creates for individuals and society.
  • Provide an integrated cohesive National Strategic Action Plan for a wide spectrum of stakeholders and settings (national and/or local organisations) to use when designing their own plans for reducing polypharmacy and optimising medicines use in their population.
  • Highlight the activities and resources needed as part of a cohesive framework to inform funding and policy decisions.

Read in full: Quality use of Medicines to Optimise Ageing in Older Australians: Recommendations for a National Strategic Action Plan to Reduce Inappropriate Polypharmacy


G‐MEDSS tool provides a person-centred approach to medication reviews

A new tool has been developed that allows healthcare practitioners to have a coordinated approach to identifying inappropriate polypharmacy in older adults. It facilitates a person-centred approach to medication management that align with the care goals of the person. 

The Goal-directed Medication review Electronic Decision Support System (G-MEDSS©), is a web-based tool (available at https://www.gmedss.comdesigned for healthcare practitioners to manage older people with and without dementia who are taking multiple medications and experiencing adverse effects from them. 

G-MEDSS, a clinical decision support system (CCDSS), was developed in a five-year project led by Professor Sarah Hilmer and Dr Lisa Kouladjian O’Donnell (based at the University of Sydney). It incorporates three validated tools that guide patientcentred medication review: 

  1. The Goals of Care Management Tool assists healthcare practitioners to identify and record residents’ goals and preferences for medications; 
  2. The Drug Burden Index Calculator© measures the cumulative exposure to medications with anticholinergic and sedative effects; 
  3. The revised Patients’ Attitudes Towards Deprescribing (rPATD) questionnaire explores patients’ attitudes, beliefs and experiences regarding their medications and how they would feel about ceasing one or more of them. 

The use of G-MEDSS may assist in the compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards requirement for goal-directed pharmaceutical care by incorporating the goals of consumers and a coordinated approach among aged care staff. 



Perspectives of residential aged care facilities’ staff on the identification and recording of residents’ medication‐related goals of care


Professor Sarah Hilmer