Metric Category: Appropriateness
The average number of concurrent medications prescribed per older patient.
The total number of medication prescriptions in the US has increased by 85% over the last two decades. In particular, prescription drug use in patients aged 65 years or older has increased dramatically. Older patients are at a particularly high risk for drug-related injuries such as falls and medication interactions. Polypharmacy (a patient being on too many medications) has been associated with increased medical cost, increased hospitalizations, and increased mortality. Primary care clinicians are in a unique position to lead deprescribing efforts when patients they see are on too many medications.
Applicable to EHR Data?
Requires Pharmacy Data?
The total number of concurrent medications summed across the patients from the denominator. For each patient, the number of concurrent medications is defined as the maximum number of concurrent medications in use on any day during the study period. The fill date and days of supply should be used to calculate the days of medication use. Overlapping days of the same medication should be credited by shifting the start date of the subsequent prescription to the day after the previous prescription was completed. Medications of the same generic name and different dosage strength should be considered the same medication. Only prescription medications with at least 30 days of supply should be included.
The number of patients aged 65 years or older who filled any prescription by a given primary care physician during the study period.
All patients aged 65 years or older seen by a primary care clinician who filled any prescription during the study period, regardless of the prescriber.
Primary care clinician is defined as a clinician who performs at least 2 wellness visits per year, as defined by the following codes:
Patients who have undergone organ transplantation, chemotherapy, or have a diagnosis of HIV:
The primary care physician
GAM establishes clinical thresholds using the input of key physician leaders within a specialty and the GAM clinical team. GAM utilizes an elaborate consensus building process with final adjudication by our leadership team.
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