High-Risk Medications in Hospitalized Elderly Adults

A recent study investigated dosages of high-risk medications administered to older adults who fall while hospitalized and sought to determine whether electronic default doses are appropriate for older individuals. In their retrospective study, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the New York University School of Medicine found that 62% of 328 falls occurred in individuals who had received at least one high-risk medication within the 24 hours before the fall. They note that 16% of those patients received at least two high-risk drugs in that period, while another 16% received three or more. High-risk medications were frequently administered at higher-than-recommended geriatric daily doses, particularly for benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-receptor agonists. For 12 of the 29 medications studied (41%), the hospital electronic medical record (EMR) default doses were higher than recommended. Simple interventions that could help reduce inpatient falls, the researchers suggest, include lowering EMR default doses for older adults and warning about the cumulative numbers of high-risk medications prescribed per person.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.14703/abstract;jsessionid=DD5E68F...