Medicine information exchange networks among healthcare professionals and prescribing in geriatric medicine wards

Bosco Chan, Emily Reeve, Slade Matthews, Peter R. Carroll, Janet C. Long, Fabian Held, Mark Latt, Vasi Naganathan, Gideon A. Caplan, Sarah N. Hilmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Effective transfer of information is vital for rational drug therapy. This is particularly important for older patients, who have a high prevalence of polypharmacy and are managed by multidisciplinary teams. We aimed to assess medicine information exchange (MIE) networks in geriatric medicine wards and whether they are associated with prescribing patterns.

Methods: We conducted network analysis in acute geriatric medicine wards from four hospitals to characterize MIE networks among multidisciplinary team members. Corresponding patient data were collected to analyze high-risk prescribing in conjunction with network characteristics.

Results: We found that junior doctors, senior nurses and pharmacists were central to MIE across all four hospitals. Doctors were more likely than other professions to receive medicines information in three hospitals. Reciprocity and the tendency to communicate within one's own profession also influenced network formation. No difference was observed in prescribing practice between hospitals.

Conclusions: Understanding MIE networks can identify gaps in multidisciplinary communication that can be addressed. Networks may identify targets for dissemination of interventions to improve prescribing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1196
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Early online date23 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • age 80 and over
  • drup prescriptions
  • innapropriate prescribing
  • network analysis
  • polypharmacy
  • inappropriate prescribing
  • drug prescriptions

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