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Moss JM, Bryan WE, Wilkerson LM, Jackson GL, Owenby RK, Van Houtven C, Stevens MB, Powers JS, Vaughan CP, Hung WW, Hwang U, Markland AD, McGwin G, Hastings SN. Impact of Clinical Pharmacy Specialists on the Design and Implementation of a Quality Improvement Initiative to Decrease Inappropriate Medications in a Veterans Affairs Emergency Department. Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy. 2016 Jan 1; 22(1):74-80.
BACKGROUND: As the proportion of older adult patients who interface with the health care system grows, clinical pharmacy specialists (CPS) have a pivotal role in reducing potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in this population. OBJECTIVES: To (a) describe CPS involvement in the design and implementation of a quality improvement (QI) initiative to decrease PIM prescribing in a Veterans Affairs (VA) emergency department (ED) and (b) report on changes in PIM prescribing before and after the initiative. METHODS: Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Veterans Discharged from the Emergency Department (EQUiPPED) is an ongoing multisite QI project that aims to decrease ED PIM prescribing. We used a mixed-method approach that applied qualitative and quantitative measures in describing the CPS role and evaluating PIM rates. PIMs were defined using the 2012 Beers Criteria. We reported monthly PIM rates in patients aged 65 years and older who were discharged from the ED from January 2012 to November 2014. A piecewise, nonlinear regression model evaluated the pattern in PIM prescriptions over time. RESULTS: At the Durham, North Carolina, VA Medical Center, a total of 4 CPS were involved with tailoring the design and implementation of the EQUiPPED intervention for local use. CPS input led to 3 key innovations: academic detailing performed by a physician-CPS pair, medication alert messages identifying medications as PIMs in the computerized patient record system, and automated reports describing the frequency and type of PIMs prescribed by each ED provider. Between February 2013 and November 2014, 73 ED providers received the academic detailing. The ED facility experienced a relative reduction of 47.5% in the rate of PIM prescribing over the observation period. CONCLUSIONS: This QI project resulted in a meaningful decrease in PIM prescribing in older ED adults. CPS contributions to QI can extend beyond pharmacotherapy and provider education to also include information technology tools using formulary management expertise.