Culminating experience: Initiation of cholinesterase inhibitors in an inpatient setting

Kamal Chandra Wagle, The University of Texas School of Public Health


We examined the practice of initiating Cholinesterase Inhibitors (ChEI) in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Patients hospitalized in FY 2008 and prescribed ChEI were identified. We reviewed electronic medical records, comparing those started on ChEI during hospitalization with those continuing ChEI from outpatient status. Of 282 patients receiving ChEI during hospitalization, 15.6% (44) were new-starts and 84.3% (238) were continuing medication. Median length of stay was 16 days in new-starts vs. 6 days in continuation patients (P<0.05). 38.6% new-starts were also treated for infection, which is a delirium risk factor. Chart review also suggested possible treatment for delirium by initiation of benzodiazepines and antipsychotics in 11.4% and 22.7% new-starts respectively. We observed a substantive practice of initiating ChEIs in hospitalized elderly who were at risk of delirium. Though there was no difference in 30-day mortality and readmission rates, new-starts were more likely to have a prolonged hospital stay than continuation patients.

Subject Area

Medicine|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Wagle, Kamal Chandra, "Culminating experience: Initiation of cholinesterase inhibitors in an inpatient setting" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1544236.