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Quality of co-prescribing NSAID and gastroprotective medications for elders in The Netherlands and its association with the electronic medical record.

Opondo, D., Visscher, S., Eslami, S., Verheij, R.A., Korevaar, J.C., Abu-Hanna, A. Quality of co-prescribing NSAID and gastroprotective medications for elders in The Netherlands and its association with the electronic medical record. PLoS One: 2015, 10(6), e012951
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Objective
To assess guideline adherence of co-prescribing NSAID and gastroprotective medications for elders in general practice over time, and investigate its potential association with the electronic medical record (EMR) system brand used.

Methods
We included patients 65 years and older who received NSAIDs between 2005 and 2010. Prescription data were extracted from EMR systems of GP practices participating in the Dutch NIVEL Primary Care Database. We calculated the proportion of NSAID prescriptions with co-prescription of gastroprotective medication for each GP practice at intervals of three months. Association between proportion of gastroprotection, brand of electronic medical record (EMR), and type of GP practice were explored. Temporal trends in proportion of gastroprotection between electronic medical records systems were analyzed using a random effects linear regression model.

Results
We included 91,521 patient visits with NSAID prescriptions from 77 general practices between 2005 and 2010. Overall proportion of NSAID prescriptions to the elderly with coprescription of gastroprotective medication was 43%. Mean proportion of gastroprotection increased from 27% (CI 25–29%) in the first quarter of 2005 with a rate of 1.2% every 3 months to 55%(CI 52–58%) at the end of 2010. Brand of EMR and type of GP practice were independently associated with co-prescription of gastroprotection.

Conclusion
Although prescription of gastroprotective medications to elderly patients who receive NSAIDs increased in The Netherlands, they are not co-prescribed in about half of the indicated cases. Brand of EMR system is associated with differences in prescription of gastroprotective medication. Optimal design and utilization of EMRs is a potential area of intervention to improve quality of prescription.