Key problems for seniors are their exposure to “potentially inappropriate medications” and “potential medication omissions”, which place them at risk for moderate, severe, or fatal adverse drug reactions. This study of 82,935 first admissions to acute care hospitals in Calgary during 2013-2018 identified 294,160 Screening Tool of Older People’s Prescriptions (STOPP) potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) (3.55/patient), 226,970 American Geriatric Society (AGS) Beers PIMs (2.74/patient), 59,396 START potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) (0.72/patient), and 85,288 STOPP PPOs (1.03/patient) for which a new prescription corrected the omission. This represents an overwhelming workload to prevent inappropriate prescriptions continuing during the hospitalisation and then deprescribe them judiciously. Limiting scrutiny to the most frequent PIMs and PPOs will identify many moderate, severe, or fatal risks of causing adverse drug reactions (ADRs) but to identify all PIMs or PPO involving moderate or severe risks of ADRs also involves searching lower in the frequency list of patients. Deciding whether to use the STOPP or AGS Beers PIM lists is an important issue in searching for ADRs, because the Pearson correlation coefficient for agreement between the STOPP and AGS Beers PIM totals in this study was 0.7051 (95% CI 0.7016 to 0.7085; < 0.001). The combined lists include 289 individual PIM medications but STOPP and AGS have only 159 (55%) in common. The AGS Beers lists include medications used in the US and STOPP/START those used in Europe. The AGS authors recommend using both criteria. The ideal solution to the problem is to implement carefully constructed Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) as in the SENATOR trial, then for an experienced pharmacist to focus on the key PIMs and PPOs likely to lead to moderate, severe, or fatal ADRs. The pharmacist and key decision makers on the services need to establish a collegial relationship to discuss frequently changing the medications that place the patients at risk. Then, the remaining PIMs and PPOs that relate to chronic disease management can be discussed by phone with the family physician using the discharge summary, which lists the medications for potential deprescribing.
- Business of Medicine
- Doctor’s Voice