School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Kenneth Thompson


Polypharmacy, Elderly/geriatrics, START/STOPP Criteria, Beers Criteria, Deprescribing, Adverse Drug Reactions


Medical Sciences | Nursing


A significant percentage of medications prescribed in the United States are prescribed to elderly adults, which is due to the increase in chronic illness as Americans age. This increase in the use of medications amongst the elderly population has led to the issue of polypharmacy, which can lead to negative patient outcomes. An evidence-based practice pilot project was performed at a large tertiary care facility in Virginia. The aim of the scholarly project was to integrate three deprescribing tools into the everyday practice of pharmacists at the facility. Three outcomes were achieved: (1) Pharmacists understood how to accurately utilize the deprescribing tools in practice and the elderly populations’ average number of medications decreased on the (2) admission and (3) discharge medication reconciliations as a result of integrating the deprescribing tools: START, STOPP, and Beers Criteria. A three-question survey completed by the pharmacy staff pre- and post-education to determine the efficacy of the intervention. The pharmacy staff’s knowledge about the deprescribing tools increased related to the START criteria 3.00 to 4.16 (+1.16 mean points), STOPP criteria 3.16 to 4.16 (+1.00 mean points), and the Beers Criteria 4.66 to 4.83 (+0.16 mean points). The average number of medications decreased on admission from 13.62 to 11.88 (-1.74) and on discharge from 15.1 to 14.14 (-0.96). Providing education to pharmacists and healthcare providers on the deprescribing tools will help to decrease the incidence of polypharmacy, ultimately reducing adverse drug reactions and improving patient outcomes.