Pharmacy is a discipline that can have a dramatic effect on patient care but that impact is not always measured or reported. When it comes to anticoagulant medications, pharmacist-driven programs can help improve anticoagulation safety, as seen in Pharmacy Practice News.
Anticoagulants remain in the top 10 list of medication classes that are responsible for medication errors. Many hospitalized patients are either admitted on or are started on warfarin. How can pharmacists be aware of complications that may occur with anticoagulants?
Research by Victor Tapson, et. al reviewed antithrombotic therapy data at 38 hospitals. The researchers looked at 1,749 patients who received warfarin at any time during hospitalization and found:
- 157 (9.0%) had at least 1 INR value greater than 4.0
- 120 (6.9%) experienced minor hemorrhage (hematoma, microscopic hematuria, epistaxis, or ecchymosis)
- 65 (3.7%) were administered phytonadione
- 14 (0.8%) experienced major hemorrhage
- Find the number of patients taking warfarin
- Percentage of patients on warfarin for at least 3 days that do not have an INR in the range of 2-3
- Percentage of patients on warfarin who have an INR > 6
- Percentage of patients on warfarin without a daily INR
- Percentage of patients educated
- Percentage of patients on warfarin with hematuria or other signs of bleeding
- Percentage of patients on warfarin that received vitamin K
Do you currently collect any of these statistics? If so, how do you compare to the rates in the published article?