What is Veterans’ MATES?
The Department of Veterans' Affairs has developed the Veterans' Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services (Veterans' MATES) project with the aim of improving the use of medicines and related health services in the veteran community. Administrative claims data are used to provide direct patient-based feedback to medical practitioners regarding medications dispensed to their veteran patients. This information is tailored to an individual doctor's practice. The GP login facility allows registered practitioners to obtain their practice specific information. This information is available for doctors only.
Supporting educational material is sent to the medical practitioners, community pharmacists and accredited pharmacists. Identified veterans are also mailed educational brochures. A team of clinical experts contribute to the writing of this up-to-date health and medicine information which is specifically tailored for veterans and their health professionals.
The program has focused on increasing use of under-used medicines, reducing adverse drug events, reducing use of unnecessary medicines and improving the utilisation of health services. A range of conditions and medicines have been covered including warfarin, diabetes, insomnia, heart failure, falls, gout, pain and medicines review.
The national program is evaluated using surveys provided at the time materials are distributed as well as observational studies using administrative claims data.
- To date more than forty topics have been delivered involving more than 290,000 veterans, 32,000 doctors and 8,500 pharmacies and accredited pharmacists.
- There is a high degree of participant satisfaction; 80% of doctors report the information is useful; 94% of pharmacists find the information useful, and 77% of veterans reporting the education helpful.
- The topic on medicine review resulted in a four-fold increase in home medicine review rates. The topics on heart failure and diabetes resulted in a 29% increase in use of beta-blocker medicines for veterans with heart failure; a 16% increase in the use of lipid-lowering therapy; and a 15% increase in the use of antiplatelet therapy in veterans with diabetes. A 44% reduction in NSAID cessation rates was observed and a 15% increase in use of low strength proton pump inhibitors.
- Outcome studies have shown reductions in hospitalisation for heart failure and reductions in bleeds associated with warfarin use.
Topic materials available on this website reflect information current at the time of distribution.
For more information about the program or one of the Veterans’ MATES topics:
- Health professionals can contact the Veterans’ MATES Health Professional Helpline on 1800 500 869
- Veterans and carers can contact the Veterans' MATES Helpline on 1300 556 906 for the cost of a local call
- SSRIs and opioids more than double the risk of hip fracture
- DVA Wound Care Module
- New Australian Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines
- Not sure of the Home Medicines Review process?
- Dementia Awareness
- Latest Veterans’ MATES research looks at anticholinergic medicines and the risk of confusion
- Are you a GP wanting electronic access to your Veterans’ MATES materials?
Proton Pump Inhibitors (Aug 2018)About one in five of us have heartburn from gastro-oesophageal reflux at one time or another. A short course of a medicine such as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) can be very effective for relieving these symptoms. If you have been taking a proton pump inhibitor for longer than eight weeks for heartburn, ask your GP whether you still need it. They might suggest that you take a lower dose or take a dose only if you have symptoms.
Veterans' MATES Report 2016 - 2017 Improving care of older veterans
Our latest report provides an overview of the Veterans’ MATES program’s recent achievements, and the impact of initiatives in keeping veterans healthy.Download PDF