PO-42 – A novel approach to a common problem: after-hours care of cancer patients diagnosed with VTE.

Link to article at PubMed

PO-42 - A novel approach to a common problem: after-hours care of cancer patients diagnosed with VTE.

Thromb Res. 2016 Apr;140 Suppl 1:S192

Authors: Easaw JC, Azim A, McCall S, Huiser T, Lim S

INTRODUCTION: Oncologists often receive phone calls from radiologists after regular working hours or while on call, informing them that a cancer patient has been diagnosed with a blood clot. In these situations, there may not be nursing staff available to contact the patient and provide teaching for Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH) injections. As a result, patients are often sent to the emergency for injection and teaching, taxing an already overburdened emergency department. This problem constitutes an important care gap.
AIM: In Alberta, Canada, pharmacists are able to prescribe medications including LMWH. We designed an after-hours program to provide care for cancer patients diagnosed with VTE.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Once the oncologist is made aware of the patient with a clot, a simple one page document is filled out and faxed to a 24-hour outpatient pharmacy outlining the following: patient demographics, clot location, systemic therapy, current anticoagulant and anti-platelet agents. The oncologist has the option to specify desired LMWH. The patient goes to the pharmacy where the pharmacist weighs the patient, reviews blood work electronically and prescribes the LMWH. Also provided are injection teaching and telephone follow-up. A specific algorithm is followed with the pharmacist able to contact the on call oncologist in specific situations where the patient's condition falls outside of the algorithm guideline. The pharmacist is able to order blood work, particularly to evaluate for Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia. Patients must follow up with their oncologist within 7 days of diagnosis.
RESULTS: This program has been run as a pilot and preliminary data will be presented at the ICTHIC meeting. Specifically, we will assess usage of the program, appropriateness of therapy chosen according to Canadian practice guidelines, as well as patient, pharmacist and physician satisfaction with the program.
CONCLUSIONS: We believe that this outpatient pharmacy program is innovative, will decrease burden on emergency departments, and takes advantage of our pharmacists' ability to independently assess patients and write prescriptions. This program may serve as a model for other cancer centers looking for a novel way to provide after-hours care of patients diagnosed with VTE.

PMID: 27161732 [PubMed - in process]

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