MedSafer to Support Deprescribing for Residents of Long-Term Care: a Mixed-Methods Study
Keywords:polypharmacy, deprescribing, long-term care, clinical decision support system, medication review
Polypharmacy is prevalent in long-term care homes (LTCH) and increases the risk of adverse drug events. Feasible and effective deprescribing interventions applicable in the LTCH environment are needed.
We performed a mixed methods study to evaluate the feasi-bility, applicability, and effectiveness of an electronic depre-scribing tool, MedSafer, to facilitate quarterly medication reviews (QMRs) on two pilot units in an academic long-term care home (LTCH). Chart reviews collected resident health data. The prevalence of deprescribing at a standard QMR was compared with a QMR conducted three months later with MedSafer. Feedback from physicians on their experience with MedSafer was obtained through semi-structured interviews.
Physicians found MedSafer helpful in guiding deprescribing decisions and suggested software improvements to increase the feasibility in LTCH. The average number of medications deprescribed per resident was significantly higher at the Med-Safer QMR (mean reduction = 1.1 medications, SD = 1.3) compared to the standard QMR (mean reduction = 0.5, SD = 0.9) (absolute difference of 0.5; SD 1.1; p = .02).
MedSafer has the potential to increase deprescribing in LTCHs by flagging potentially inappropriate medications. Integration in the electronic medical record might increase uptake in LTCHs. Further research should investigate the generalizability of MedSafer in a larger population and in non-academic LTCHs.
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