To assess the effect of a simple medication guide (the Pill Pruner) on the number of regular medications taken by older patients following medical admission.Methods:
In July 2009, following introduction of the Pill Pruner, we audited 500 consecutive older patients, recording the number of regular medications being taken on admission and discharge. Safety data included 90-day mortality and readmission rates. Medication numbers were compared to a similar audit undertaken in September 2008 and to a repeat audit in December 2009.Results:
The mean number of medications on admission (± SD) was 6.3 ± 3 versus 6.5 ± 3 at discharge (P = 0.13). Number of discharge medications was decreased compared to September 2008 (7.7 ± 4; P = 0.001) but similar to that for the repeat audit. No change in mortality or readmission rate was seen.Conclusion:
Use of the Pill Pruner reduced the number of regular medications prescribed to older patients without affecting safety.