Project Presented to the Faculty of the School of Nursing

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Polypharmacy is the concurrent use of multiple medications. Polypharmacy presents increased health risks and increased hospitalizations due to its synergistic effects particularly in the elderly population. In addition, there is a significant increase in health care spending. Polypharmacy is of special concern among elderly individuals because this practice can lead to other health risks, hospitalization and increased healthcare cost. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that polypharmacy costs the nation’s health plans more than $50 billion annually. Polypharmacy is linked to higher incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), falls, hospitalization and behavioral incidents among the elderly especially if one or more of the medications is a psychotropic medication. The CMS has therefore established a guideline for the gradual dose reduction (GDR) of psychotropic medications. The aim is to reduce the negative effects of these medications on patients and thereby improve their general quality of life. This evidence based project examined the effects of the gradual dose reduction among residents between the ages of 65-75 living in a long-term care facility in the inner city of North-East Bronx. The project also evaluated the facility’s policy regarding GDR within this population and proposed ways to enhance the policy improve patient safety and reduce medication cost.

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  • 03/27/2024
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