Older Adults at Increased Risk of Falls With E-Prescription of Medicines

by Hannah Joy on  November 28, 2016 at 6:08 PM Senior Health News   - G J E 4
Technological advancements in healthcare is changing the way medication is prescribed, especially for elder patients. Hospitals that are using electronic prescribing of higher doses of medicines which increases falls in the older adults.
Older Adults at Increased Risk of Falls With E-Prescription of Medicines
Older Adults at Increased Risk of Falls With E-Prescription of Medicines

Medications prescribed in the hospitals electronically are misleading or are given at higher doses to the patients. Electronic prescribing or e-prescribing is a technology to prescribe medicines to patients electronically.

‘Regulated medication administered in person by the doctors will reduce the risk of falls in elderly patients, as opposed to electronic prescriptions.’
In an urban academic hospital, 287 patients of about 65 years of age have been observed and found that 62 percent of the individuals experienced falls within 24 hours, to whom high risk medications were given during the stay at the hospital were found.

High risk medications were often administered at higher than recommended geriatric daily doses, in particular benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-receptor agonists, for which the dose was higher than recommended in 57 percent of cases.

The hospital's electronic medical record default doses for electronic prescribing were higher than recommended for 41 percent of medications that were examined.

"Before the widespread use of electronic prescribing, physicians had to consciously determine the appropriate drug dosage for an individual. This study highlights that with electronic prescribing, default doses do matter and lowering defaults for vulnerable patient groups such as elderly patients may be an easy way to reduce inappropriate use of high risk drugs for these patients", said Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, senior clinician-author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.

Source: Eurekalert

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