Background: Due to ageing of the population the incidence of multimorbidity and polypharmacy is rising. Polypharmacy is a risk factor for medication-related (re)admission and therefore places a significant burden on the healthcare system. The reported incidence of medication-related (re)admissions varies widely due to the lack of a clear definition. Some medications are known to increase the risk for medication-related admission and are therefore published in the triggerlist of the Dutch guideline for Polypharmacy in older patients. Different interventions to support medication optimization have been studied to reduce medication-related (re)admissions. However, the optimal template of medication optimization is still unknown, which contributes to the large heterogeneity of their effect on hospital readmissions. Therefore, we implemented a clinical decision support system (CDSS) to optimize medication lists and investigate whether continuous use of a CDSS reduces the number of hospital readmissions in older patients, who previously have had an unplanned probably medication-related hospitalization. Methods: The CHECkUP study is a multicentre randomized study in older (≥60 years) patients with an unplanned hospitalization, polypharmacy (≥5 medications) and using at least two medications from the triggerlist, from Zuyderland Medical Centre and Maastricht University Medical Centre+ in the Netherlands. Patients will be randomized. The intervention consists of continuous (weekly) use of a CDSS, which generates a Medication Optimization Profile, which will be sent to the patient’s general practitioner and pharmacist. The control group will receive standard care. The primary outcome is hospital readmission within 1 year after study inclusion. Secondary outcomes are one-year mortality, number of emergency department visits, nursing home admissions, time to hospital readmissions and we will evaluate the quality of life and socio-economic status. Discussion: This study is expected to add evidence on the knowledge of medication optimization and whether use of a continuous CDSS ameliorates the risk of adverse outcomes in older patients, already at an increased risk of medication-related (re)admission. To our knowledge, this is the first large study, providing one-year follow-up data and reporting not only on quality of care indicators, but also on quality-of-life. Trial registration: The trial was registered in the Netherlands Trial Register on October 14, 2018, identifier: NL7449 (NTR7691). https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/7449.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The CHECkUP is supported by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), grant number: 848016012. The funding body has no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2022, The Author(s).