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Author Notes:

Jason M. Moss, PharmD, CGP, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton St., GRECC/182, Durham, NC 27705. Tel.: 919.286.0411, ext. 7878; Fax: 919.286.6823; E-mail: jason.moss@va.gov

Study design was created by Stevens, Powers, Vaughan, and Hastings, with assistance from Moss. Bryan, Wilkerson, Jackson, and Owenby collected the data, and data interpretation was performed by Van Houtven, McGwin, and Hastings, with assistance from Moss, Owenby, and Stevens. The manuscript was written by Moss and Hastings and revised by Moss, Hung, Hwang, and Markland.

The authors would like to acknowledge Sherman Lee for providing editorial support.


Research Funding:

Funding was provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care T-21 initiative (G508-1 & G521-5). Vaughan is supported by a Rehabilitation R&D CDA-2 award from the Department of Veterans Affairs 1 IK2 RX000747-01. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The authors report no conflicts of interest. Portions of this work were presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society meeting in Orlando, Florida, on May 16, 2014.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Health Care Sciences & Services
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • DRUG

Impact of Clinical Pharmacy Specialists on the Design and Implementation of a Quality Improvement Initiative to Decrease Inappropriate Medications in a Veterans Affairs Emergency Department

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Journal Title:



Volume 22, Number 1


, Pages 74-80

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


BACKGROUND: As the proportion of older adult patients who interface with the health care system grows, clinical pharmacy specialists (CPS) have a pivotal role in reducing potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in this population. OBJECTIVES: To (a) describe CPS involvement in the design and implementation of a quality improvement (QI) initiative to decrease PIM prescribing in a Veterans Affairs (VA) emergency department (ED) and (b) report on changes in PIM prescribing before and after the initiative. METHODS: Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Veterans Discharged from the Emergency Department (EQUiPPED) is an ongoing multisite QI project that aims to decrease ED PIM prescribing. We used a mixed-method approach that applied qualitative and quantitative measures in describing the CPS role and evaluating PIM rates. PIMs were defined using the 2012 Beers Criteria. We reported monthly PIM rates in patients aged 65 years and older who were discharged from the ED from January 2012 to November 2014. A piecewise, nonlinear regression model evaluated the pattern in PIM prescriptions over time. RESULTS: At the Durham, North Carolina, VA Medical Center, a total of 4 CPS were involved with tailoring the design and implementation of the EQUiPPED intervention for local use. CPS input led to 3 key innovations: academic detailing performed by a physician-CPS pair, medication alert messages identifying medications as PIMs in the computerized patient record system, and automated reports describing the frequency and type of PIMs prescribed by each ED provider. Between February 2013 and November 2014, 73 ED providers received the academic detailing. The ED facility experienced a relative reduction of 47.5[%] in the rate of PIM prescribing over the observation period. CONCLUSIONS: This QI project resulted in a meaningful decrease in PIM prescribing in older ED adults. CPS contributions to QI can extend beyond pharmacotherapy and provider education to also include information technology tools using formulary management expertise.

Copyright information:

© 2016, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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