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Use of electronic health record data to examine administrations of pro re nata analgesics during hip fracture post-acute care.

PURPOSE: Medications prescribed to older adults in US skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and administrations of pro re nata (PRN) "as needed" medications are unobservable in Medicare insurance claims. There is an ongoing deficit in our understanding of medication use during post-acute care. Using SNF electronic health record (EHR) datasets, including medication orders and barcode medication administration records, we described patterns of PRN analgesic prescribing and administrations among SNF residents with hip fracture.

METHODS: Eligible participants resided in SNFs owned by 11 chains, had a diagnosis of hip fracture between January 1, 2018 to August 2, 2021, and received at least one administration of an analgesic medication in the 100 days after the hip fracture. We described the scheduling of analgesics, the proportion of available PRN doses administered, and the proportion of days with at least one PRN analgesic administration.

RESULTS: Among 24 038 residents, 57.3% had orders for PRN acetaminophen, 67.4% PRN opioids, 4.2% PRN non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and 18.6% PRN combination products. The median proportion of available PRN doses administered per drug was 3%-50% and the median proportion of days where one or more doses of an ordered PRN analgesic was administered was 25%-75%. Results differed by analgesic class and the number of administrations ordered per day.

CONCLUSIONS: EHRs can be leveraged to ascertain precise analgesic exposures during SNF stays. Future pharmacoepidemiology studies should consider linking SNF EHRs to insurance claims to construct a longitudinal history of medication use and healthcare utilization prior to and during episodes of SNF care.

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