STOPP/START: Screening tools for Geriatric Medicine Prescription

STOPP/START Screening tools for Geriatric Medicine Prescription


STOPP – Screening Tool of Older Person’s Prescriptions
START – Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment


The STOPP/START project developed constraint-based software screening tools which can be used to improve the quality and safety of medicine prescriptions for elderly patients. This project was a collaboration between MISL , Cork Constraint Computation Centre and the UCC School of Pharmacy .


The STOPP/START project was made possible thanks to funding from Enterprise Ireland


STOPP/START Screening Criteria

The STOPP/START Screening tools are based on the STOPP/START Prescription criteria which consist of a set of inappropriate combinations of medicines and disease (STOPP) and a set of recommended treatments for given conditions (START).
Medicine prescription for the elderly is a complex problem as older patients tend to have more concurrent conditions. A greater number of conditions also leads to a greater number of concurrent drug treatments which increases the chance of dangerous complications in the patient case. Furthermore, there are often treatments which would be of benefit to an individual patient which are absent in their treatment plan. The STOPP/START criteria were developed to provide up-to-date, validated prescription information to doctors and pharmacists to ensure that elderly patients are given the best possible care.


STOPP/START Screening Tool Software

The STOPP/START screening software is a tool developed as part of this project which takes as input patient cases and prescription histories (via GUI input or data file) and first examines them for STOPP rule violations. These rule-violations are presented to the user (e.g. a pharmacist or general practitioner) and the particular dangers of the prescription plan are displayed.
Following the STOPP screening, the software determines if there are any treatments which should be added to the prescription plan as per the START criteria. Any additions to the prescription plan are checked through the STOPP screening tool to discover if the additions may lead to violations of the STOPP criteria.


STOPP/START GUI Prototype Screenshot

Mobile and Internet Systems Laboratory

Department of Computer Science, Western Gateway Building, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland.