GeriMedRisk, a telemedicine geriatric pharmacology consultation service to address adverse drug events in long-term care: a stepped-wedge cluster randomized feasibility trial protocol (ISRCTN17219647)
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Background: Multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and older age predispose seniors to adverse drug events (ADE). Seniors with an ADE experience greater morbidity, mortality, and health care utilization compared to their younger counterparts. To mitigate and manage ADEs among this vulnerable population, we designed a geriatric pharmacology consultation service connecting clinicians with specialist physicians and pharmacists and will investigate the feasibility and acceptability of this complex intervention in the long-term care setting, prior to conducting a larger efficacy trial. Methods/Design: We will conduct a cluster randomized feasibility trial and qualitative analysis of GeriMedRisk among four long-term care homes in the Waterloo-Wellington region from May 1 to December 31, 2017. The primary outcome is the feasibility and acceptability of GeriMedRisk and the stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial design. We hypothesize that GeriMedRisk is a feasible intervention and its potential to decrease falls and drug-related hospital visits can be evaluated with a stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial design. Discussion: This mixed methods study will inform a larger efficacy trial of GeriMedRisk's ability to decrease adverse drug events among seniors in the long-term care setting. Ethics and dissemination: The Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board granted the approval for this study protocol 2812. We plan to disseminate the results of this study in peer-reviewed journals and also to our partners and stakeholders. Trial registration: ISRCTN clinical trials registry, ISRCTN17219647 (March 27, 2017).