In a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study of 259 older adults discharged from a general medical hospital, more than 4 in 5 patients were issued a potentially inappropriate prescription containing at least 1 potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) or potential prescribing omission (PPO).
Medications that constitute a greater risk than benefit to a patient are considered PIMs, while failures to prescribe medications of potential benefit are considered PPOs.
Prescription of more than 5 medications was significantly associated with PIMs and PPOs. Also, PIMs and PPOs were associated with increased odds of hospital readmissions and death, respectively. The study used the STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Person's Prescriptions) START (Screening Tool to Alert doctors to the Right Treatment) criteria to identify PIMs and PPOs.