Polypharmacy Risk Reduction

What is the Residential Care Initiative?

Statistics indicate that between 2003 and 2013, the number of general practitioners (with at least 50 longitudinal patients in the community setting) delivering residential care services dropped 13%, with Vancouver Coastal Health seeing declines of 27%1. Furthermore, 4% of British Columbians aged 85 or older take more than 10 drugs and 31% take at least 5 drugs with higher percentages for long term care.2

The Polypharmacy Risk Reduction (PRR) Initiative is part of a wider initiative of the Shared Care Committee, a joint collaborative committee of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health. The PRR Initiative is being implemented by the Residential Care Committee of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice in collaboration with the University of British Columbia Division of Continuing Professional Development. One of the aims of the initiative is to engage physicians to raise awareness of polypharmacy while fostering a community of support.

Workshops will include presentations on key recommendations, case discussions and practical resources. Group discussions will be facilitated by family physicians who provide residential care.

Who should attend?

These workshops are designed for Vancouver Division of Family Practice family physician and resident members . Non-members who are family physicians and residents and deliver the majority of their services in Vancouver are welcome to attend the event and apply for Vancouver Division of Family Practice membership online  https://www.divisionsbc.ca/vancouver/becomingamember

What will I learn?

At the end of the workshop(s), participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize frailty and its implications
  2. Understand the dangers of polypharmacy particularly in the frail elderly
  3. Identify and reduce polypharmacy within frail elderly patient population
  4. Effectively discuss Goals of Care and utilize this as a way to frame polypharmacy discussions

Past Workshops

Workshop Date Accreditation
Polypharmacy Risk Reduction for our Growing Frail Elderly Community June 7, 2016 3.0 Mainpro+ 
Polypharmacy Risk Reduction for our Growing Frail Elderly Community February 16, 2016 3.0 Mainpro+ 


  1. Winsby, B., & Eyres, D. (2015). Localized solutions for provincial reform of residential care services. BC Medical Journal, 57(4), 162-163.
  2. Reducing polypharmacy: A logical approach. (2014, June 1). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.ti.ubc.ca/letter90#graphs
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