Elderly patients with multimorbidity are especially vulnerable to adverse drug events (ADEs) and had high prevalence rates. Identifying ADEs is essential for enabling timely interventions that can mitigate the adverse events detected and for developing targeted strategies to prevent their occurrence as well as to monitor implementation. The aim of this study was to develop a set with appropriate triggers for detecting potential ADEs in elderly patients with multimorbidity.
A modified Delphi methodology was used to reach consensus. Existing triggers for detecting ADEs in adult patients were identified from a literature search in several databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, and Cochrane Library) and from Institute for Healthcare Improvement published lists. Twelve experts in patient/medication safety or in chronic diseases scored candidate triggers for appropriateness according to 3 criteria (evidence, usefulness for elderly patients, and feasibility of implementation in clinical practice).
Seventy-two triggers were initially selected to be evaluated. The final set includes a total of 51 triggers for which the panelists who completed the 2 rounds of evaluation reached agreement. These triggers were organized into 5 modules: 11 as care module triggers, 10 as antidotes/treatment, 11 medication concentrations, 18 abnormal laboratory values, and 1 as emergency department trigger.
A set of triggers for detecting ADEs in elderly patients with multimorbidity have been developed, following the consensus of a panel of experts. Subsequent validation in clinical practice is needed to confirm the accuracy and efficiency of these triggers for this population.