Does warfarin use impact hospital length of stay? A retrospective study looking at patients treated for atrial fibrillation.
Hosp Top. 2013 Jan-Mar;91(1):20-4
Authors: Mittmann N, Henry B, Murshed S, Tsang L, Iazzetta J, Crystal E, Bucci C
The authors received anecdotal practice information from clinicians indicating that when warfarin was initiated in the hospital setting, it may be associated with an increased length of stay (LOS): specifically to achieve a desired minimum international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.0 before discharge in a subset of patients where clinicians perceived follow-up after discharge was not deemed optimal. Given that oral thromboprophylactic anticoagulation with warfarin is the mainstay treatment for the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation (AF), the authors decided to look at hospitalized patients from this population to determine if a subset of these patients experienced an increased LOS. The study design entailed a retrospective chart review of consecutive patients admitted to a large, tertiary care, academic center. Patients were included if they were admitted with a primary, secondary, or most responsible diagnosis of paroxysmal or chronic AF. Medical records were audited over an 18-month period (February 1, 2009, to July 31, 2010) to determine the average LOS and to identify patients with a documented prolonged LOS secondary due to subtherapeutic INR at the time of potential discharge. Our final study cohort of 189 patients had an average LOS of 5.2 days (SD = 5.2). However, for eight (4.2%) of these patients discharge was delayed an additional 2.25 days (SD = 1.3) for reasons solely attributed to achieving a therapeutic INR.
PMID: 23428112 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]