Grant Application

Jennifer Pruskowski, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, CPE, UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

Proposed Innovation

Studies suggest up to 97% of nursing home residents receive potentially inappropriate or unnecessary medicines. This carries a high risk of drug-induced harm, including adverse drug reactions, functional decline, cognitive impairment, falls, urinary incontinence, hospitalizations, and increased risk of death. Deprescribing — the process of identifying and proactively discontinuing these medicines — can solve the problem but is difficult to put into practice.

The goal of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a deprescribing-focused academic detailing (AD) program aimed at increasing awareness and reducing unnecessary medicines within three UPMC Senior Communities: Heritage Place, Canterbury Place, and Cranberry Place.

Improvements in Action

Through this initiative, senior care pharmacists working within these three UPMC Senior Communities will educate prescribers on the harms of polypharmacy, and how to identify and discontinue medicines that are eligible for deprescribing.

Intended Outcomes

This project is expected to reduce inappropriate or unnecessary medicine usage and improve the care and quality of life for UPMC Senior Communities residents. It also will provide crucial information — including identifying barriers — for the dissemination and implementation of a system-wide deprescribing initiative: the DE-PHARM (Discussion to Ensure the Patient-centered, Health-focused, prognosis-Appropriate, and Rational Medication regimen) program.