American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

Improving Warfarin Management Within the Medical Home: A Health-System Approach

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Anticoagulation clinics have been considered the optimal strategy for warfarin management with demonstrated improved patient outcomes through increased time in therapeutic international normalized ratio (INR) range, decreased critical INR values, and decreased anticoagulation-related adverse events. However, not all health systems are able to support a specialized anticoagulation clinic or may see patient volume exceed available anticoagulation clinic resources. The purpose of this study was to utilize an anticoagulation clinic model to standardize warfarin management in a primary care clinic setting.

A warfarin management program was developed that included standardized patient assessment, protocolized warfarin-dosing algorithm, and electronic documentation and reporting tools. Primary care clinics were targeted for training and implementation of this program.

The warfarin management program was applied to over 2000 patients and implemented at 39 clinic sites. A total of 160 nurses and 15 pharmacists were trained on the program. Documentation of warfarin dose and date of the next INR increased from 70% to 90% (P <.0001), documentation occurring within 24 hours of the INR result increased from 75% to 87% (P <.0001), and monitoring the INR at least every 4 weeks increased from 71% to 83% (P <.0001) per patient encounter. Time in therapeutic INR range improved from 65% to 75%.

Incorporating a standardized approach to warfarin management in the primary care setting significantly improves warfarin-related documentation and time in therapeutic INR range.

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-Anne E. Rose, PharmD, Erin N. Robinson, PharmD, Joan A. Premo, RN, Lori J. Hauschild, MHA, Philip J. Trapskin, PharmD, Ann M. McBride, MD

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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