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MEDICAL & HEALTH SCIENCES

Medicines Optimisation in Older People (Online)

Micro-credential

This micro-credential will cover the fundamentals and advanced topics of Medicines Optimisation in Older People

On-Demand Webinar

Watch our last webinar, hosted by the academic course leader.
Register below for instant on-demand access (via email) to our last webinar (held on 09 June 2022) to learn more about this micro-credential including course content, learning benefits, how to enrol and the questions and answers (Q&A) session.

Entry Requirements

Students will be health practitioners (with an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification)

Currently, micro-credentials are only available to NZ citizens and permanent residents

Duration

4 Weeks

Next Start Date

  • 27 June 2022 (2022 Quarter Three)
  • 19 September 2022

Enrolment closes one week before the course starts. Enrol early to secure your spot.

Domestic Fees

$320.40

Course Overview

Medicines Optimisation in Older People micro-credential creates a critical awareness of the problems associated with the use of medicines in older people in relation to their appropriate and safe use, including consideration of health inequities and vulnerable groups. It challenges practitioners to identify the risks and problems associated with medication overload, polypharmacy and multimorbidity in older people, and to appreciate that appropriate medicines use must involve an assessment of the balance between benefit and harm. Participants will also realise the value of interprofessional collaboration to improve medicines use and health outcomes in older people. Those who complete the course will not only be able to apply their knowledge and skills to guide evidence-based practice for medicines optimisation for older people in various healthcare settings, but will also acquire the necessary background knowledge to take further MC courses which address management of specific therapeutic areas.

Course Brochure

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Medicines Optimisation brochure preview image

This 5-point micro-credential comprises 4 weekly modules and is designed to build on learners’ knowledge and skills to use medicines safely and effectively in older people to optimise their health outcomes. Consistent with the requirements of NZQF level 8, the course has an emphasis on the advanced application of generic knowledge and skills that the targeted practitioners already have (e.g. nurses, pharmacists, medical practitioners aged-care workers, and other health professionals).

Weekly Module

Description

Medicines use in older people a population perspective Demographic ageing means both the proportion and the number of older people in society is increasing, and older people have an increased burden of health problems and associated medicines use. Inappropriate use of medicines can lead to harms and increase the use of health care resources. Inequities exist in the way that medicines are used and in outcomes from medicine related harm in older people.
Age related changes in the handling of medicines in older people Physiological changes occur with aging which may affect response to medicines. Drug elimination is slowed in older people, particularly due to decline in renal function. Older people are generally more sensitive to the pharmacological and adverse effects of medicines. Recognition of these changes will improve safe and effective medicines use.
Harms of medicines use in older people Polypharmacy and inappropriate use of medicines (including medicines overload) is highly prevalent in older people and is associated with an increased risk of harm. Older people are at increased risk of harm from medicine adverse drug reactions and drug interactions; some of these harms are serious. For many medicines, the harms outweigh the benefits, and this is particularly apparent in older people (e.g. sedatives and hypnotics)
Principles of optimising medicines use in older people Medicines used in older people should be reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate, safe and effective; consideration should be given to stopping inappropriate medicines. Balancing the benefits and harms of medicines is the cornerstone of medicines optimisation and validated tools are available to supplement practitioner understanding of the principles and implementation of medicines optimisation in older people.

Learners will be able to describe the problems, including health inequities, associated with medicines use in older people from a societal perspective using examples from the New Zealand health system and demographics. Learners will be able to explain the age-related changes that may affect the response to medicines and their use in older people. In addition, learners will be able to Identify, describe, and evaluate the potential for harm associated with adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, inappropriate use of medicines and polypharmacy.

  • Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded with 5 credit points from the University of Auckland.
  • You will be issued with a Digital Badge from the University of Auckland which you can share across your digital profiles like LinkedIn.
  • For practising nurses looking for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), this course will provide 50 hours of learning.

This 5-point micro-credential comprises 4 weekly modules and is designed to build on learners’ knowledge and skills to use medicines safely and effectively in older people to optimise their health outcomes. Consistent with the requirements of NZQF level 8, the course has an emphasis on the advanced application of generic knowledge and skills that the targeted practitioners (E.g. nurses, pharmacists, medical practitioners aged-care workers, and other health professionals) already have.

Module & Description

Medicines use in older people a population perspective

Demographic ageing means both the proportion and the number of older people in society is increasing, and older people have an increased burden of health problems and associated medicines use. Inappropriate use of medicines can lead to harms and increase the use of health care resources. Inequities exist in the way that medicines are used and in outcomes from medicine related harm in older people.

Age related changes in the handling of medicines in older people

Physiological changes occur with aging which may affect response to medicines. Drug elimination is slowed in older people, particularly due to decline in renal function. Older people are generally more sensitive to the pharmacological and adverse effects of medicines. Recognition of these changes will improve safe and effective medicines use.

Harms of medicines use in older people 

Polypharmacy and inappropriate use of medicines (including medicines overload) is highly prevalent in older people and is associated with an increased risk of harm. Older people are at increased risk of harm from medicine adverse drug reactions and drug interactions; some of these harms are serious. For many medicines, the harms outweigh the benefits, and this is particularly apparent in older people (e.g. sedatives and hypnotics)

Principles of optimising medicines use in older people 

Medicines used in older people should be reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate, safe and effective; consideration should be given to stopping inappropriate medicines. Balancing the benefits and harms of medicines is the cornerstone of medicines optimisation and validated tools are available to supplement practitioner understanding of the principles and implementation of medicines optimisation in older people.

Learners will be able to describe the problems, including health inequities, associated with medicines use in older people from a societal perspective using examples from the New Zealand health system and demographics. Learners will be able to explain the age-related changes that may affect the response to medicines and their use in older people. In addition, learners will be able to Identify, describe, and evaluate the potential for harm associated with adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, inappropriate use of medicines and polypharmacy.

  • Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded with 5 credit points from the University of Auckland.
  • You will be issued with a Digital Badge from the University of Auckland which you can share across your digital profiles like LinkedIn.
  • For practising nurses looking for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), this course will provide 50 hours of learning.

Frequently Asked Questions about this micro-credential

Application FAQs

What are the entry requirements?

This course is for health practitioners (with an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification) .

What are the exact dates for the next intake?

There are 4 intakes for 2022, each starting on the below dates:

  • 10 January 2022
  • 4 April 2022
  • 27 June 2022
  • 19 September 2022

Enrolment closes one week before the course starts. Enrol early to secure your spot.

Is the course fee a once-off lump sum?

Yes, the course fee is a once off sum of $320 for domestic students.

Is this micro-credential open to non-resident students?

No. Currently our micro-credentials are only open to NZ citizens and permanent residents.

 

Studying FAQs

Can I study the course in my own time?

You can study at a time that suits you (within the allocated course dates). Auckland Online courses have been designed to be flexible yet structured to help you gain the knowledge in the time you have.

How is the course structured?

The course will run over 4 weeks, and will comprise of weekly modules, essentially 1 module per week. Further details on the course structure can be found under the ‘Course Structure’ tab further up on this page.

Can I study the course whilst working full-time?

Yes, our courses are designed for working professionals and are structured to be flexible yet structured to help you gain the knowledge in the time you have.

Assessment FAQs

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through case studies, weekly quizzes and a final test.

Benefits FAQs
Does the course enable me to take further study at the University?

All our micro-credentials are credit bearing, so that you can progress your studies further towards a degree qualification. Please note, credits will need to be relevant to the programme you wish to study and satisfy the programmes specific entry requirements.

How many course credits will I attain upon completion of the course?

Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded with 5 credit points from the University of Auckland.

Do I get a certificate at the end? Will it reflect ‘online micro-credential’?

Upon completion of the course, you will be issued with a digital badge from the University of Auckland which you can share across your digital profiles like LinkedIn.

I’m a practising nurse. How many hours of learning will this course provide for my CPD?

Successful completion of this course will provide you with 50 hours of learning (certified) which you can record as part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

What employers or professional associations have endorsed the value and industry relevance of the learning outcomes of this micro-credential?

Clinical Advisory Pharmacists Association
Counties Manukau District Health Board
Ministry of Health
PHARMAC

Medicines Optimisation in Older People – Enquiry Form

After submitting this form, you will be directed to the University of Auckland application portal where you continue the micro-credential enrolment process.

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