Education, Reminders Reduce Risky Prescriptions for Older Adults

A program that provides systematic education and reminders in an emergency department (ED) can greatly reduce the risk of inappropriate medications being given to older patients. Researchers, who presented their work at the American Geriatrics Society 2016 Annual Scientific Meetings, discussed the EQUiPPED (Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Veterans Discharged From the Emergency Department) program. The program is made up of a team of geriatricians, gerontologists, geriatric pharmacy specialists, and others—all working to reduce the proportion of risky prescriptions prescribed to older veterans to less than 5%. To do this, the team educated the providers and scheduled one-on-one meetings to talk about medications that could be risky. Then they collected the data and modified prescription order sets to work safer and more effectively for older patients. At four separate sites, the proportion of potentially inappropriate medical prescriptions dropped after applying the EQUiPPED program. The EQUiPPED program is now being used in eight Veterans Affairs medical centers, and the team is helping other EDs and non-VA hospitals to implement the program. (Source: MedScape)