Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Half of older patients exposed to potentially inappropriate prescribing

Half of older patients exposed to potentially inappropriate prescribing
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-older-patients-exposed-potentially-inappropriate.html

Around half of older patients are exposed to potentially inappropriate prescribing, each year, and hospitalisation is independently associated with an increased risk, finds a study in Ireland published by The BMJ today.

Inappropriate prescribing can include the intensification of existing drugs and the failure to stop or reduce doses of certain drugs after discharge from hospital.

The findings suggest that better coordination of care is needed to reduce avoidable medication related harms among these .

Potentially inappropriate prescribing is common among older adults and is associated with adverse outcomes including emergency hospital attendances and admissions, adverse events, and poorer quality of life.

Yet research to date has focused on characteristics of patients and general practitioners as risk factors for poor prescribing quality. There has been less focus on how health system factors, such as hospital or care transitions, may contribute to the appropriateness of prescribing for these patients.”


This is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and the researchers cannot rule out the possibility that other unmeasured factors may have affected the results. However, the study included data from a large number of patients, and the findings are consistent with previous research in the field.

As such, the researchers say that is “an important driver of potentially inappropriate prescribing and the overuse and/or misuse of drugs.”

And they call for better coordination of care, particularly for with complex care needs, to help reduce risk of medication errors, , and readmissions.

“Identifying optimal management strategies for older people is vital to ensure that the risk of inappropriate drugs is minimised after transitions of care,” they conclude.

In a linked editorial, Professor Anthony Avery at the University of Nottingham and Professor Jamie Coleman at the University of Birmingham, say opportunities to intervene are often missed.

They point to the importance of interventions known to improve outcomes at discharge, including better communication between secondary and primary care, involvement of pharmacists, and closer monitoring of patients. In addition, making the best use of for identifying patients at risk and providing decision support, is key to tackling potentially inappropriate prescribing, they conclude.”

December 15, 2018 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items, Uncategorized | , ,

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