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Jennifer Peterson, Nursing


Polypharmacy is the use of five or more medications. Polypharmacy in older adults can increase fall risk, decrease quality of life, increase adverse reactions and cause a more rapid decline in cognitive function. A literature review revealed that there is benefit to a reduced number of medications taken in the older adult population. This quality improvement project was completed at a long-term care facility in Central Minnesota. The STOPP tool was implemented with the leadership team at the facility which included the Director of Nursing, nursing manager, the PIPP Grant team and the staff development nurse. The project provided education on the use of the Screening Tool of Older People’s Prescriptions (STOPP) with the goal of lowering the overall number of medications that were prescribed to residents in the facility. This screening tool assisted staff in determining unnecessary medications prescribed and aided in conversations with nursing staff and providers to help them determine which medications could be discontinued. The STOPP tool will be used by the leadership staff upon new resident admission to help determine the presence of unnecessary medications that will be reviewed by the provider to be considered for discontinuation.