Development and implementation of a pharmacist-managed inpatient anticoagulation monitoring program

Wellman, Jessica C.; Kraus, Peggy S.; Burton, Bradley L.; Ensor, Christopher R.; Nesbit, Todd W.; Ross, Patricia A.; Thomas, Michelle L.; Streiff, Michael B.
May 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;5/15/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 10, p934
Academic Journal
Purpose. A stepwise approach to development and implementation of a program to standardize and increase pharmacists' involvement in anticoagulation therapy at a large academic medical center is described. Summary. In response to the Joint Commission's national goal of improved patient safety in anticoagulation therapy, a work group of pharmacy administrators, educators, clinical specialists, and decentralized pharmacists at the hospital developed the structure for a comprehensive inpatient anticoagulation program (IAP); the work group also developed a list of required competencies, educational materials, assessment methods, and mechanisms for eliciting feedback from IAP pharmacists and other patient care staff. After completion of training that included structured case-review sessions, a one-on-one shadowing experience, and competency assessment, IAP pharmacists began reviewing clinical and laboratory data on patients receiving warfarin and low-molecular-weight heparins and providing recommendations to physicians, nurse practitioners, and other health care team members. Feedback from other clinicians was generally positive, with a majority of those surveyed indicating that increased pharmacist involvement in anticoagulation monitoring and dosage adjustment resulted in improved patient care; about 80% indicated that they concurred with pharmacists' recommendations at least 75% of the time. Results of a survey of IAP pharmacists indicated increased satisfaction with their daily duties but also a need for improved pharmacist-to-pharmacist communication. Conclusion. Case-based advanced training and implementation of an IAP in a tertiary care hospital increased pharmacists' involvement in the management of inpatients receiving anticoagulants.


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