A nurse gives medication to a hospitalized patient
By Thomas Duparque | September 13, 2023

Clini-Chat: How to Prevent Hospitalisation-Related Iatrogenic Dependence and Reduce Hospital Return Rates Among Older Patients

Three French healthcare professionals explain how technology can be used to better anticipate and manage patients’ care needs, both in the hospital and at home, and reduce adverse events like medication addiction.

Depending on where you are in the world, you may be hearing a lot about “the opioid crisis” that has unfolded in the U.S. in recent years. But did you know this is just one form of iatrogenic dependence? Or that iatrogenic dependence – the official medical term used to describe addiction to a substance that was prescribed by a physician – is an even bigger problem among elderly populations than younger people? 

While we should absolutely be highlighting the risks of inadvertent narcotics addiction among people who were simply trying to recover from sports injuries or accidents, we should also be engaging in more public conversations about how to prevent iatrogenic disease among patients who naturally need more medical intervention and, therefore, more pharmaceutical support. 

We can probably all relate to seeing an older parent, grandparent, sibling or even friend manage their pill packs. They aren’t just taking a single aspirin a day. They may be taking half a dozen or more pills per day, each of which could potentially lead to addiction. (I’ve learned that even “mild” drugs like commonly prescribed tranquilizers or analgesics can be catalysts for iatrogenic dependence and disease.) But, one day, you and I could be the one prescribed multiple medications. Therefore, we all have a vested interest in what’s being done by the healthcare community to manage pharmaceutical treatments so as not to accidentally create a situation in which we become addicted to a drug and need more frequent or advanced care at home or in the hospital. 

That’s why I sat down with three French healthcare experts for the first episode of our new Clini-Chat podcast series* to see what levers could and should be pulled to prevent iatrogenic dependency, especially among elderly patients who are first administered these drugs while in the hospital. 

Given all the technology tools at healthcare providers’ disposal, it seems at least some of them could be used to assist with clinical care planning, monitoring, and medication administration. Fortunately, these three experts agreed.  

Find out what’s already being done in some hospitals and home health settings to help prevent iatrogenic dependence among elderly patients and help manage existing dependencies at home so that patients don’t have to suffer through repeated hospitalisations. They also share some broader scale clinical practices that they have found helpful in preventing… 

  • iatrogenic dependence among all populations. 

  • oversaturation of healthcare institutions by patients who are better served by high quality home care via constant monitoring and proactive wellness consultations. 

I learned a lot from their stories and recommendations, and I’m confident you will too. So, I hope you’ll watch it now, or when you have a 20-minute break this week, and feel free to pass along to others who are equally invested in mitigating iatrogenic dependency, improving home healthcare, and helping patients stay out of the hospital.  

If you’d like to connect with any of these experts for further discussion on this issue, I’m happy to make an introduction. Just reach out to me on LinkedIn.

*The podcast was recorded in French but presents with English subtitles.

Healthcare, Podcast, Success Story,
Thomas Duparque
Thomas Duparque

Thomas Duparque is currently the EMEA Healthcare vertical lead where he is responsible for healthcare business development in Europe, the Middle East & Africa. Thomas has more than 15 years of experience within the Healthcare sector and has been devoting a great deal of his time to the implementation, improvement, and optimization of best practice policies and technology platforms in collaboration with customers and partners. He has spent time with healthcare workers and specialists such as cardiologists, neurologists, surgeons, nurses, biomedical engineers, and others claiming to understand the challenges and opportunities they see.

Previously, Thomas served as an X-Ray and AX application specialist, as well as a Modalities Manager for the angiography business unit at Siemens Healthineers in Latin America. He was also an executive for healthcare insurance company Relyens, where he managed the implementation of technologies into hospitals to improve patient safety and lower the risks and costs for healthcare institutions.  

Thomas holds a Master’s degree in Physics from the Medicine faculty of Tours, which he has applied to medical imaging signal treatment. He also holds a degree in Biomedical engineering devices from Polytech Tours.

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