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Application of the 2019 Beers Criteria in Practice

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The Beers Criteria® is a tool that provides guidance in optimizing safe medication practices for older adults. The tool is used to identify potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) for a target population of adults over the age of 65. As a highly complex population, certain medications, or classes of medications, could be detrimental to older adults and should be avoided or dosed differently to avoid harmful effects.

The Beers Criteria has been updated by the American Geriatric Society since 2011. The most current iteration, from 2019, includes new recommendations based on evidence to not only address metabolic and age-related changes of the population, but also to help practitioners negotiate challenges in treating the geriatric population. While the literature contains many references about details of the updated 2019 Beers Criteria, the 2019 criteria is no longer available as a free resource. Therefore, previous references to the Beers Criteria in the ACE.S and ACE.Z cases have been removed.

This teaching strategy offers an opportunity to use currently available free references related to 2019 updated Beers Criteria in evaluating PIM in older adults. It is directed at helping students understand potential medication concerns specific to older adults. It provides an opportunity for students to evaluate older adults and it advocates for safe medication administration. It should be noted that the Beers Criteria is intended to be used as a guide, and risks vs benefits should be part of the conversation when assessing the medications of older adults. The tool should not be used for the population of older adults in hospice or palliative care.

Application of the 2019 Beers Criteria in Practice

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