Article Text

PDF

Audit of start of anticoagulation treatment in inpatients.
  1. G Tan,
  2. H Cohen,
  3. F Taylor,
  4. J Gabbay
  1. Research Unit, Royal College of Physicians, London.

    Abstract

    AIMS: To develop a method for evaluating the start of anticoagulation treatment in inpatients. METHODS: One hundred case notes were audited using a proforma based on local guidelines in accordance with British Society for Haematology recommendations. RESULTS: Confirmatory investigations were done in 93% and 79% of patients with symptomatic deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, respectively. Identification of patients' risk factors for anticoagulation by history taking and laboratory tests was often inadequate: baseline coagulation screen, platelet count, liver function and renal function tests were done in 52%, 95%, 70% and 87% of cases, respectively. There was a tendency to undertreat patients: 33% of the activated partial thromboplastin times (APTT) and 58% of the International Normalised Ratios (INR) were subtherapeutic. The heparin-warfarin crossover period was particularly problematic: 37% stopped heparin without an INR that day, or had an INR of less than 2. Microscopic haematuria was monitored occasionally. Of the 62 patients continuing anticoagulation, 72% were discharged with the final INR in the therapeutic range. At discharge, only 74% of patients had documented appointments for the anticoagulant Clinic, the period between discharge and appointment ranging from 0 to 12 days. Of the 25 cases with an appointment exceeding four days after discharge, only six (24%) had arrangements for an interim INR check. CONCLUSIONS: The experience allowed the proforma to become streamlined to a more practical, reliable, and valid tool for use elsewhere. Findings will be fed back to the hospital staff to promote practice improvements before closing the audit loop by re-evaluating practice. Further studies are in progress to identify barriers experienced by doctors in implementing the guidelines and problems in the process of referral to the anticoagulant clinic.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.