Inappropriate medications are those for which the risk of an adverse outcome with use of the medication outweighs the potential benefit. The goal of this project was to design and develop modules that would educate physicians to help guide prescribing habits towards therapies that are more appropriate and pose a lower risk for the elderly population.
A three year, multi-phase prospective demon-stration project targeting all 303 Parma AUSL general practitioners (GPs) prescribing for approximately 80,000 outpatient elderly was established and introduced in 2007. The quality improvement initiative hinged upon increasing GPs’ awareness of prescribing for the elderly and included three key elements: i) the initial dissemination of a list of medications deemed potentially inappropriate (PIMs) in older patients, along with a list of alternative drugs to PIMs; ii) annual reviews of PIMs prevalence data; and (iii) a series of educational sessions on PIMs via academic detailing and case studies reviews. To evaluate if the educational intervention has had an effect in improving prescribing behaviors among physicians We analyzed the prescribing behavior of physicians in the Parma AUSL per-post intervention, from 2006-2009 in order, and found that the intervention led to significant reductions in PIMs exposures and likely translated to significant population health benefit among their older patients.