Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 25-May-2012, Vol 125 No 1355
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Benchmarking benzodiazepines and antipsychotics in the last 24 hours of life
Brian Ensor, Daphne Cohen
To document benzodiazepines and antipsychotics (BDZ/APS) given to patients in the last 24 hours of life to establish normal prescribing patterns in hospices across New Zealand (NZ).
A cross-sectional benchmarking design with retrospective chart review was carried out across 14 NZ hospices. Data (n=351) on medication use and dosages was analysed for inter-hospice variability. Analysis was shared with participating hospices for reflection.
There are significant differences in how these predominantly sedative medications are used within hospices in NZ, though the reasons for this cannot be commented on in this study. Diagnosis, place of death and use of the Liverpool Care Pathway influence how medications are used.
NZ hospices are willing to submit data to enable the description of usual medication use in NZ, and have established that variations in prescribing and administration exist. This enables self reflection on the variations and the establishment of an ongoing benchmarking exercise.
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