Pharmacist-Initiated De-Prescribing Efforts Reduce Inappropriate Continuation of Acid-Suppression Therapy Initiated in the ICU

Published:September 25, 2022DOI:



      Stress ulcer prophylaxis initiated for intensive care unit (ICU)-specific indications is often continued upon transfer or discharge despite lack of indication. This quality improvement initiative aimed to achieve a 25% reduction from baseline in ICU-initiated acid suppression therapy prescriptions by May 2021.


      This initiative was conducted in adult ICU patients at Boston Medical Center from July 2020 through May 2021. A multidisciplinary approach to de-prescribing was utilized, including the implementation of formalized stress ulcer prophylaxis criteria and an electronic handoff tool used to identify patients appropriate for assessment of acid suppression therapy continuation post-ICU stay. The primary outcome measure was the number of discharge prescriptions for ICU-initiated acid suppression therapy. Secondary endpoints included incidence of de-prescribing workflow failures, percentage of acid suppression therapy discharge prescriptions with inappropriate indications, and incidence of stress ulcer-related gastrointestinal bleeding.


      A 55% decrease in ICU-initiated acid suppression therapy discharge prescriptions occurred after implementing the multidisciplinary workflow. The decrease was sustained for 28 weeks through the completion of the study.


      Implementation of a pharmacist-initiated electronic handoff tool along with provider education and creation of formalized stress ulcer prophylaxis criteria may reduce the number of ICU-initiated acid suppression therapy prescriptions inadvertently or inappropriately continued at discharge.


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